Sellers of fake cigarettes fall in police dragnet


Customs and revenue agents together with Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) operatives armed with search and arrest warrants held another storeowner for the sale of fake Mighty brand cigarettes in Barangay Sta. Teresita, Quezon City.

CIDG agents Ringo C. Medalla and Crisanto P. Carag arrested Kevin Co Ong of King Co Store in Speaker Perez St. after he was caught in possession of fake Mighty Menthol soft pack and Mighty Full Flavor king size variants through the complaint of a Mighty Corp. representative.

Ong was charged with violation of Republic Act 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code.

The warrant was issued by Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 93 Judge Arthur O. Malabaguio.

Aside from the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, violators may also be held liable for violating Republic Act 7394, or the Consumer Protection Act, and the National Internal Revenue Code, whose penalties range from one year to 12 years imprisonment and fines of up to P200,000, or both.

Meanwhile, NBI-Cabanatuan District Office (CABDO) agents nabbed Jeffrey de Guzman Castro, also known as Puroy de Guzman, of Barangay Esguerra, Talavera, Nueva Ecija for possession of large quantities of fake Mighty Full Flavor, Mighty Menthol 100s, Marvels Filter Kings and Marvels Menthol 100s.

Like Ong, Castro was also charged with violation of Republic Act 8293 under a warrant issued by Cabanatuan City RTC Branch 26 Judge Johnmuel Romano Mendoza.

CIDG chief Police Director Victor P. Deona said the PNP remains vigilant against counterfeiters and warned individuals and business establishments against the sale and distribution of fake cigarettes.

In an earlier arrest, CIDG nabbed a woman at the Sta. Rita Public Market in Guiguinto, Bulacan for selling fake Mighty cigarettes.

Mighty brand, along with Bureau of Customs, BIR, NBI and PNP authorities are in continuous pursuit of counterfeit traders as shown by the previous series of arrests in various parts of the country.


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