BOC foils P14-M cigarette smuggling

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Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Wednesday disclosed that they foiled the illegal shipment from Singapore of P14 million worth of cigarettes with the help of an intelligence report received by the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI). FPI Chairman Jesus Arranza requested Manila District Port Collector Vincent Philip Maronilla to look into two suspicious container vans consigned to Faith Achieve Plastic Corp. that are reported to carry contraband cigarettes as opposed to the consignee’s declaration of plastic film and cut plastic for its import permit. Examination revealed that one of the two containers was found with 500,000 packs of contraband D&B cigarettes. With excise tax for low price cigarettes at P25 per pack in 2016 and a 12 percent VAT, the government would have lost P14 million in taxes from the foiled smuggling attempt. The contraband cigarettes had no Bureau of Internal Revenue tax stamps and the required graphic health warnings for cigarettes. Under the law, packs with no tax stamps as well as the use of counterfeit stamps warrant penalty charges ranging from a fine of up to P50,000 and imprisonment of up to eight years.

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