P142M in cigarettes destroyed
DAVAO CITY — Authorities on Sunday destroyed over P142 million worth of cigarettes manufactured by Mighty Corp., which were recently seized for having fake Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) stamps.
The cigarettes, consisting of nearly five million packs and inside 9,496 boxes, were loaded onto 20 trucks and brought to a cement plant for destruction.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III was supposed to lead the burning of the cigarettes, weighing a total of 135 metric tons, but had to back off because he was suffering from cough, according to his aides.
He was instead represented by Assistant Secretary Kelvin Lee of the Office of the Executive Secretary.
The Department of Finance said the cigarettes with fake BIR stamps were seized from the warehouse of Sunshine Cornmill Co. in General Santos City on March 6.
These included Mighty Corp. brands like Mighty Menthol 100s, Marvels Menthol, Marvels FK and King Full Flavor. The assessed tax liability for the cigarettes was P1.3 billion, which had already been settled by Mighty under its P25-billion deal with the government.
Aside from the General Santos raid, authorities also recently confiscated millions of pesos of Mighty cigarettes from Pampanga, Pangasinan and Bulacan also for having fake tax stamps.
Mighty Corp. had since folded up and was bought by Japan Tobacco Inc. —FRINSTON LIM
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