Fake cigarettes seized

OLONGAPO CITY — Fake cigarettes worth at least P570,000 were confiscated by authorities in an entrapment operation which also resulted in the arrest of five individuals in Barangay Old Cabalan here.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group personnel along with the Bureau of Internal Revenue conducted the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects identified as Roel Salazar, Wayne Agustin, Joselito Pana, Junrey Jomalo and Joseph Divinaflor.

The entrapment operation is part of Oplan Mega Shopper, a campaign against smuggling, manufacturing, distribution and trading of counterfeit items or products.

Initial reports revealed that operatives set up the trap at the Victory Liner parking lot where an undercover agent made a transaction with the suspects using 300 pieces of P1,000 boodle money and a P1,000 bill.

Authorities seized 60 boxes that contained 5,400 reams of Furongwang cigarette brand manufactured by China Tobacco Hunan Industrial Co. with an estimated amount of P570,000.

Aside from the contrabands, the authorities also seized one silver Toyota Grandia commuter van with plate no. NAT 6245; one silver Foton Traveller van with plate number NGF 2440; one black Mitsubishi Montero with plate number CAQ 3750; and the marked money.

The suspects were taken into custody by CIDG-Olongapo as charges are being readied against them which include violation of RA 10836 (Customs Modernization and Tariff Act), Sec 4 of RA 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines), RA 11346 (Increasing Excise Tax on Heated Tobacco Products,) and RA 10643 (Instill Health Consciousness through Graphic Health Warning on Tobacco Products).

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