Pangasinan warehouse yields fake cigarette labels, tax stamps; 7 nabbed
VILLASIS, Pangasinan –– Police on Wednesday arrested seven people, including two Chinese, after personnel of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) discovered machines and materials used to print fake cigarette labels and tax stamps.
Police Maj. Fernando Fernandez, this town’s chief of police, said they have been inspecting warehouses after the local government received reports that some businessmen violate the national building code and tax, fire, business, and licensing laws.
Authorities said the warehouse leased by one Oliver Solitap from owner Alan Apaga in Barangay Bacag was running several machines to print fake labels and tax stamps for cigarettes.
BIR officials pegged the cost of the equipment and materials at P200 million.
Police said the arrested men were all workers at the warehouse.
They were identified as Liang Jun Cheng and Cal Xiao Ming, both from China; Bernard Dagpin, Edwin Cagaanan, Benjie Terez, and Gino Amparo, all from Zamboanga del Norte; and Juancho Rey Albestor from Negros Occidental.
Two other Chinese nationals identified as Yinglong Bin and Guohan Qui escaped, police said.
Ted Teodulo Paragas Jr., officer-in-charge of the BIR Region I investigation office, said the agency would file cases of unlawful pursuit of business and counterfeiting of labels and BIR tax stamps against the workers and owners of the warehouse. Yolanda Sotelo/lzb
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