BOC: 77 arrested for theft in padlocked Pasay warehouse
MANILA, Philippines — Sixty seven Filipinos and 10 Chinese nationals were arrested for stealing counterfeit bags, shoes, and clothing from a warehouse in Pasay City that was already padlocked, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Thursday.
BOC-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Verne Enciso said the operation was carried out in coordination with the CIIS-Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP), after they received reports from an asset that there are individuals stealing the padlocked items.
“We received information from a well-placed asset that there was an ongoing theft in a Pasay warehouse we have previously sealed and padlocked. This warehouse had been subjected previously to a Letter of Authority (LOA),” Enciso said.
During the operation, BOC authorities spotted the suspects carrying the merchandise from the upper floors of the warehouse to the ground floor.
According to the BOC, the warehouse was padlocked in a previous operation as operatives found goods that infringed on the intellectual property rights (IPR) of several companies.
“This operation only goes to show the extent of the BOC’s mandate. More than stopping these illegal activities and seizing contraband products, we must also be at the forefront of ensuring that these seized items will remain in our custody until the cases are done and we are instructed by the proper courts on how to go about disposing or liquidating them,” Rubio explained.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Juvymax Uy assured the public that all forfeited items were accounted for during a verification process that was conducted on the same day of the operation.
“The success of each operation, including seeing them through the legal proceedings, is crucial to the health of the Philippine industry. These operations show the seriousness of our work and send the right message to businesses that want to invest here,” Uy said.
Aside from CIIS personnel, BOC said the operation was done in coordination with the Enforcement and Security Service-Quick Reaction Team, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau Action Team Against Smuggling, Public Information and Assistance Division (PIAD), and barangay officials.