MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday reported the seizure of various counterfeit goods estimated to be worth PHP1.5 billion in Pasay City.
In a statement, the Bureau said the team led by the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service-Intellectual Property Rights Division (CIIS-IPRD), armed with Letters of Authority (LOA) issued by Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, inspected the storage facility inside Building 127 along F. B. Harrison Street corner J. Fernando Street on Feb. 17.
The items found include counterfeit goods bearing brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Nike, Adidas, Supreme, Tory Burch, Skechers, and Birkenstock, among others. Inventory is currently being conducted.
The raiding team, which also includes members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), required proof of payment for the taxes and duties paid on all imported goods and proof of authenticity for the branded goods.
Per initial report, there are approximately 70 units in the building that are leased and used as storage spaces.
Rubio noted the importance of coordinating with different government agencies, as well as the hard work of Customs officials in bringing success to every operation.
“Our people target, detect, intercept, and thereby prevent the entry of these contraband items before they can do any harm to our markets. These counterfeit items not only jeopardizes these brand names, but also seriously undermine our own local brands. It is therefore our mandate in the BOC to stop these deals and ensure a fair trade for foreign and local brands,” he said.
Further investigation is also underway for other possible violations of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Meanwhile, Customs Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy vowed to intensify the crackdown against smuggling and counterfeit items.
“Discovering PHP1.5 billion worth of counterfeit items is no small joke, especially because these people are now becoming more sophisticated in the way they bring these products through our borders, But while this latest operation is an extraordinary feat, we acknowledge that more work needs to be done to stop these once and for all,” he said. (PNA)