BY CYRA CORRAL
AN employee of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) was arrested by agents of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday for accepting bribe money from importers.
PCG spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo identified the employee as Cesar Nierva who was assigned at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) Entry Processing Unit (EPU).
Nierva was caught accepting P7,760 slipped between documents submitted to the EPU Import Office-BOC. He is now under the custody of the Enforcement and Security Service MICP.
Nierva underwent inquest proceedings before the Manila Regional Trial Court for administrative and criminal charges.
Meanwhile, combined elements of the BOC Intelligence Group and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, composed of the Intellectual Property Rights Division and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Task Force, on Tuesday seized P70 million worth of smuggled goods inside the storage units of a shopping mall in Binondo.
Armed with a Letter of Authority signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, the operatives inspected 70 storage units and found smuggled and fake items bearing the brands Silka, Likas Papaya, Spiderman, Hello Kitty, Coach, Long Champ, Cath Kidston, Anelo, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Red Bull, Dove, Lux, Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Cetaphil, Balenciaga, Kate Spade and Fred Perry.
There were likewise counterfeit Head & Shoulder, Pantene, Rejoice, Sony, Awei, Cars, Mickey Mouse, Frozen, Champion, DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Bench, Starbucks, Yves Saint Laurent, Max Man, Viagra, Cialis, Tory Burch, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and Hollister products.
Samples of the confiscated items will be forwarded to their respective brand owners to verify their authenticity.
The raid stemmed from complaint filed by Baranda & Associates that various smuggled goods, likely fake products were kept inside the storage units.
Section 118 (f) of the Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act prohibits the importation of infringing goods as defined under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.