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Customs shreds fake shoes, bags

/ 01:55 AM September 14, 2011

With his job reportedly on the line, Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez continues to deliver.

Alvarez on Tuesday led in the shredding of fake branded shoes, bags and accessories confiscated last year that, had they been real, would have been worth P100 million.

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He said that this year the Bureau of Customs (BOC) had seized P1.3-billion worth of fake products from January to August.

Alvarez led customs officials in shredding the imitation Lacoste, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Diesel and adidas products at the Manila Harbor Center.

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“The China-made knock-offs were seized from warehouses being used by smugglers to store the counterfeit goods they supply to retail outlets at 168 Mall in Divisoria and other bargain centers in Metro Manila and nearby provinces,” Alvarez said.

“This should serve as a stern warning to smugglers that we’re not going to go slow in going after them,” he added.

Malacañang earlier announced that Alvarez was going to be replaced but, as of yesterday, he had yet to receive a formal notice from the Palace.

“There’s none yet. (I’m waiting) by the day (but) there’s life after customs,” Alvarez said.

Lawyer Zsae Carrie de Guzman, head of the BOC Intellectual Property Rights Division, said the fake products shredded Tuesday were seized from “two or three consignees” who smuggled them in from China through different Philippine ports.

She said the BOC was preparing to file criminal charges against the brokers and consignees, including a firm identified as Tongda.

“These are being destroyed to show the brand owners that we are serious in going after intellectual property violators,” De Guzman said.

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Alvarez said the shredding was witnessed by representatives of the Intellectual Property Rights Office of the Philippines, the United States Department of Homeland Security and the legitimate manufacturers and distributors of the branded products.

“Nobody should profit from making a mockery of intellectual property rights,” Alvarez said.

De Guzman said the smuggling of imitation products into the country was in decline.

“Before we would catch 10 containers a week. Now we get six containers a week,” she said.

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TAGS: ] Lacoste, 168 Mall in Divisoria, Adidas, Bureau of Customs (BoC), Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez, diesel, fake products, imitation, Louis Vuitton, Manila Harbor Center, Nike, raid
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