CEBU CITY – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cebu has destroyed a total of 1,804 master cases of smuggled counterfeit cigarettes worth over PHP90 million at the facilities of Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. (TCPI) here.
The cigarettes bearing Mighty, Marvels, and Fort brands which were seized and eventually forfeited by the Port last June 2021 arrived in two separate shipments from China and were declared as table panels, cabinets, and chairs.
“We have partnered with TCPI for the use of its facilities in compliance with Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero’s directive to dispose of forfeited cigarettes through burning in the furnaces of cement plants,” BOC-Cebu deputy district collector for Operations Marc Anthony Patriarca said in a statement on Friday.
TCPI’s environment and safety officer Dwight Avila emphasized that the condemnation process was strictly monitored to ensure compliance with existing environmental protocols.
Patriarca was joined by auction and cargo disposal chief Ronald Morillo and representatives from the Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, and Enforcement and Security Service in supervising the actual condemnation process last Wednesday.
Representatives of the brand owners Japan Tobacco International and Phillip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation were also present to personally witness the destruction of the counterfeit cigarettes.
Last year, the Port seized and destroyed eight shipments of counterfeit cigarettes worth PHP374 million. (PNA)