BOC strengthens fight vs fake, smuggled goods

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    As the economy begins to recover from the pandemic, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) vowed to vigorously combat the proliferation of fake and smuggled items and protect the interest of legitimate businesses nationwide.

    In a statement, the BOC said it is executing measures to further boost and streamline its inspection capabilities by enhancing its x-ray operations.

    This as the agency seized another batch of counterfeit cigarettes, as well as cigarette making machines and other paraphernalia used for cigarette making, with a total estimated value of P131 million.

    The BOC said in a separate statement yesterday the illegal goods were apprehended on March 1 in two storage facilities located in Barangay Balagtas, Orion, Bataan.

    The first operation led to the discovery of cigarette making machines and other paraphernalia such as rolling paper, foil and plastic packaging estimated at a value of P84 million.

    The second operation yielded the discovery of 1,262 master cases of counterfeit cigarettes with various brands such as More, Two Moon, Seven Star, Winston, Fort, Mighty and Marvels estimated to have a value of P47 million.

    The apprehended items were transported to the BOC facility in Manila for inventory and further investigation for possible case filing for violation of Republic Act 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

    Meanwhile, the BOC said it has conducted various trainings to the personnel of its ports assigned at the X-ray Inspection Project, with 14 batches of these trainings conducted in 2020 and two trainings so far in the first two months of 2021.

    The bureau also held the Basic Operation and Image Analysis Training of Rapiscan 636SV Mobile Baggage Scanner attended by concerned personnel of Port of Cebu as well as sub-port of Mactan in mid-February. The training discussed the basic know-how in operating the mobile baggage scanners deployed in the various ports of the bureau.

    The BOC said it aims to enhance and streamline x-ray operations at all airports covering incoming baggage or parcels whether accompanied or unaccompanied by passengers disembarking off international flights, and to strengthen the government’s fight against entry of illegal drugs, firearms and other anti-social goods specifically giving attention to baggage coming from high-risk countries.

    For March, the BOC said it is conducting a Basic Operation and Image Analysis Training of Astrophysics Portal X-ray Machine at the Port of Manila.