By ACE DE LA CRUZ / UPDATE PHILIPPINES
The Philippine Coast Guard has seized more or less P18 million worth of Mighty cigarettes with fake tax stamps in Samar through the efforts of PCG Intelligence Group. “Elements of PCG Intelligence Force coordinated with the Bureau of Customs to act uponon the information which the PCG have gathered from a reliable source,” PCG said. Information says alleged smuggled cigarettes where loaded to the two trucks owned by PARBA company identified as Wing Vans with plate numbers WIU-794 and ACO-8447 respectively. “Said contraband cigarette products were monitored to be delivered from Manila enroute to Tacloban, Leyte and Cagayan De Oro via Matnog Port. Coordination to various PCG units were made thru the Coast Guard Action Center while the intelligence operation is being conducted in the area,” PCG said. PCG said, on April 7, Wing Van with plate number ACO- 8447 was intercepted and apprehended at Sitio Candaya, Brgy. San Pedro, Basey, Eastern Samar. PCG intelligence operatives spearheaded the apprehension with Customs personnel, Regional Police Safety Battalion personnel, and City Public Safety Company personnel. The following day, Customs and BIR personnel conducted inspection of the eight boxes out of six hundred thirty boxes of smuggled cigarettes, and thru the use of their taggant device, Customs personnel determined that the said cigarette stamps are counterfeited. “The successful operation is the product of the efficient and effective intelligence networking of the PCG, and forms part of the continuing thrust of the PCG in combatting illegal activities such as smuggling which mainly constitute to tax evasion,” PCG said.