THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Monday seized P300-million worth of smuggled and fake high-end brands bags in a warehouse in Binondo, Manila.
Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon said that the thousands in confiscated bags were fake imitations of famous and expensive designer bags like Louis Vuitton, Channel, Gucci, Lacoste, Breitling, Ballenciga and Hermes, among others.
The customs chief added that the goods were seized by the BOC-Intellectual Property Division, a unit under the Customs Intelligence Group, in a warehouse in Aclem Building in Binondo.
“We hope this exercise today will send a clear message to traders that the BOC will not allow smuggling to flourish, especially on items that will have a tremendous impact on Philippine labor,” Biazon said.
He added that the BOC “will not allow the Philippines to be a dumping ground of counterfeit goods, if only to enhance the country’s competitiveness as an investor nation. The BOC on this aspect will ensure that the interests of foreign investors like distributors of authentic high-end brands are protected.”
For his part, Danilo Lim, deputy commissioner for the BOC-Intelligence Group, said that the raid was part of the series of seizures conducted by the bureau operatives in the past three weeks, and coincides with the Interpol’s Operation Hurricane, which is an international drive against illicit goods.
“We assure the public, especially local manufacturers and traders, that the BOC will not waver its campaign against smuggling. We will not lie low on our guard and we will spare no one in the fight against smuggling,” he said.
Lim also asked the private sector and the business community to help the bureau trace smugglers.