400 cartons of Mighty, Marvel cigarettes with fake tax stamps seized in Tacloban
TACLOBAN CITY — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 400 cartons of cigarettes with alleged fake tax stamps on Tuesday, denying the government of about P6 million in excise tax.
The seized items, with the brands of Mighty and Marvel, were contained in one container van loaded from the MV Lady Alina which arrived at the Tacloban port about 9 p.m. on Monday, said BOC special agent Francisco Colmenares.
“We received information from our intelligence office division in Cebu, Verne Enciso, that about 400 boxes of cigarettes with fake stamps are loaded in the said ship which came from Manila,” Colmenares said.
On Tuesday, the container van was opened for inspection in the presence of BOC Commissioner Nicador Faeldon and officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Eastern Visayas (BIR-8) led by its chief legal officer, Edgar Quejada.
“We will first establish who is the owner of the items and from there, we will see what possible actions the BIR will take. But initially, we can charge the owner for using fake stamps which is a criminal offense,” Quejada said.
The BIR official said that the owner denied the government of about P6 million in potential income by not paying the excise tax.
Using a gadget, BIR personnel inspected the cigarette pack which produced a red light that indicated that the items bore fake stamps.
A green light would mean the stamps were genuine.
Colmenares said that the seized items were supposed to be delivered to a warehouse owned by the Mighty Corp., the manufacturer of the seized cigarettes, in San Jose District, this city.
“But for now, we will take custody of the items,” he said. SFM
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