The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has filed a criminal complaint with the Department of Justice against tobacco firm Mighty Corporation over alleged violations of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.
The company’s officers, President Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan (retired), Executive Vice President Oscar Barrientos, Vice President for External Affairs and Assistant Corporate Secretary Alexander Wongchuking and Treasurer Ernesto Victa, were also charged for “Unlawful Possession of Articles Subject to Excise Tax without Payment of the Tax, and for Possessing False, Counterfeit, Restored or Altered Stamps, in violation of Sections 263 and 265 [c]of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended [Tax Code],” according to the BIR.
After Bureau of Customs (BOC) personnel entered the Sunshine Corn Mill Warehouse located at Arradaza Street, Barangay Lagao, General Santos City on March 24, 2017, revenue officers of Revenue Region No. 18-Koronadal City armed with mission orders conducted an on-the-spot surveillance and inventory of cigarette products stored in the warehouse that was leased to Mighty Corporation. The operation resulted in the apprehension and detention of 11 master cases and three reams from loose stocks from which cigarette packs were randomly tested.
On March 30, 2017, the BIR issued a mission order directing revenue officers of the Excise Large Taxpayers Service, among others, to conduct an inventory-taking of the cigarettes stored in Mighty Corporation’s warehouse in General Santos.
The result of the inventory-taking conducted at the warehouse showed a total of 4.748 million packs contained in 9,496 master cases and 22 reams. Tests were later conducted by BOC in the presence of Mighty Corporation representatives that showed 89.14 percent of the 67,470 cigarette packs tested bore fake internal revenue stamps and were seized.
The stamps were identified as fake since they did not contain one of the multi-layered security features of a valid internal revenue stamp. The alleged act, the BIR said, resulted in the company evading payment of the correct excise tax, making Mighty Corporation liable to pay an estimated aggregate deficiency excise tax liability totaling P1.39 billion, inclusive of increments.
The case is the third against Mighty Corporation that has only one BIR-registered production plant located at 55 McArthur Highway, Barrio (now Barangay) Tikay, Malolos, Bulacan.