ALERT operatives of the Bureau of Customs-Enforcement Group (BoC-EG) accidentally discovered a clandestine factory manufacturing fake and toxic insecticides in Pampanga during a post-audit inspection to determine if duties and taxes have been paid for its imported machines and raw materials.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said on Wednesday a team headed by Deputy Commissioner Teddy Raval were out to implement a letter of authority to inspect a warehouse located at Block 12 Lots IA and 1B in Global Aseana Business Park in San Simon town when they found out that the warehouse was converted into a factory for aerosol insecticides.
Because of the findings, Guerrero added, the inspection turned into a raid. The warehouse owner, a certain Andy Go, was not around during the enforcement.
Workers at the warehouse failed to present a Certificate of Payment for the imported machines and raw materials. It has also no business permit or permit to operate as a factory to produce insect repellants and other chemicals used to control pests and/or insects.
Director Felimon Ruiz of the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) said the machines and chemical used in the manufacture of aerosol insecticides were imported from China.
Found inside the factory were 10 sets of machines, forming two production lines for labeling the aerosol insecticide products with the brand name “BAOLLIAI”.
Also uncovered and immediately seized were more or less 50 drums filled with chemicals, particularly cypermethrin and polyaluminum chloride, various packaging materials and labels bearing the same brand name, and at least 2,000 boxes containing finished products.
A quick online search on the brand name revealed it was a knockoff of “BAOLILAI”, a household insecticide product that was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for containing cypermethrin.
The FDA described the chemical as a “broad spectrum” pesticide with neurotoxic effects on rodents, aquatic organisms, mammals, and even humans.
FDA advisories and various news reports from 2012 to 2015 warned against unregistered insecticide products such as Baolilai, for containing the noxious chemical, dangerous to both humans and animals.