SMUGGLED CIGARETTES. Customs officers confiscate PHPBO10-million worth of smuggled cigarettes from China in a raid at a storage establishment in Makati City on Tuesday (Aug. 25, 2020). Also seized during the raid were short and long firearms, coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test kits, and other goods including face masks, liquors, and Chinese medicine. (Photo courtesy of BOC)
MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday reported the seizure of smuggled cigarettes worth around PHP10 million as well as unlicensed firearms and other items in Makati City.
In a statement, the bureau said the contraband was seized in a raid by the Intelligence Group-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (IG-CIIS) and the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) at a storage establishment near Dian Street on Tuesday.
Customs officers also discovered short and long firearms, coronavirus disease (Covid-19) test kits, other goods which include face masks and liquors, and Chinese medicine known as Linhua Qingwen Jiaonang, which is supposedly used to treat Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile, IG Deputy Commissioner Raniel Ramiro said they are conducting a thorough search of the premises to ensure that it is clear of any other firearms.
He added that they will be coordinating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine if the medicines have their approval and also with the Philippine National Police (PNP) for details of the seized firearms.
Ramiro assured that the items and premises shall be sealed and kept under guard while an inventory is ongoing to verify pertinent import permits and documents.
The bureau is conducting further investigation to identify the type of firearms.
“As per the owner, the same remains undisclosed pending investigation but we will try to check if the info is available. The store location is near Dian, Makati,” Ramiro said.
The operation was a result of surveillance by BOC IG-CIIS where a test buy was done which confirmed the existence of the store. (PNA)