Raids yield over P3B worth of smuggled vapes, e-cigarettes

Raids yield over P3B worth of smuggled vapes, e-cigarettes

/ 05:30 AM March 02, 2024

Malabon, Parañaque raids yield P3.72 billion of smuggled vapes

Agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of Manila International Container Port inspect a Malabon warehouse, where illegally imported e-cigarettes or vapes from China were recovered, on Thursday, February 29, 2024. Photo from the Bureau of Customs

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday seized an estimated P3 billion worth of smuggled electronic cigarettes or vapes from China in a simultaneous raid of warehouses in Malabon and Parañaque.

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said on Friday that agents of the BOC’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) are still completing their investigation of the warehouses they raided in those two cities.


In one such facility at Olivares Compound in Barangay San Dionisio, Parañaque, around 1.5 million pieces of Flava brand e-cigarettes with assorted flavors were found, according to BOC-CIIS Director Verne Enciso.


He said there were around 15,000 boxes each containing 100 pieces of these vapes.

“The current market value is P500 per piece, so that’s a total of P750 million. Add to that the excise tax that should be collected, and the total estimated sum-up value would be P1.53 billion,” Enciso said.

Considering that the excise tax for every 10 milliliters of vape is worth P520, the BOC official said the government should have collected around P780 million from the smuggled e-cigarettes.

‘Safest products’

In an initial inventory of one warehouse, the BOC-CIIS discovered 19,800 boxes with each box containing 100 pieces, or a total of 1.98 million pieces estimated at P550 each.

“In addition, P520 worth of excise tax per item should have been collected for a total of P1,029,600,000,” the BOC said.

The combined market value and excise tax of the smuggled vape products in the Malabon warehouse totaled P2,118,600,000, according to the agency.


READ: 2 systems to suppress smuggling

Customs agents also discovered an unplugged cold storage unit where a still undetermined quantity of vape products was kept.

“Coincidentally, they also saw a wing van truck unloading stocks of vape products during the inspection,” the BOC said.

Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy said the agency would make sure that vapes sold out there would only be the “safest products in the market.”

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Rubio warned smugglers: “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring [them] to justice.” INQ

TAGS: BOC, cigarettes, Smuggled, vape

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