About P4 million worth of alleged fake cigarets were seized during a series of raids in barangays 35 and Singcang-Airport in Bacolod City, yesterday.
Operatives of the Bacolod Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Bureau of Internal Revenue-6, Special Weapons and Tactic Unit, and representatives from Philip Morris swooped down on the house of Adam Mangoda, 44, in Purok Mapinalanggaon, Barangay 35.
Six boxes of various kinds of cigarets were recovered from the house of Mangoda, police records show.
Senior Insp. Kim Dominic Gamboa, head of the Bacolod CIDG, said yesterday that an interview with Mangoda after his arrest resulted in another raid at a warehouse in Barangay Singcang-Airport.
About 32 boxes of fake cigarets were confiscated from the warehouse at JR Torres in Barangay Singcang-Airport.
Gamboa said no one was in the warehouse, but they found several slippers, sleeping mats, and a homemade pistol-type shotgun.
There were no cigaret-manufacturing equipment found in the warehouse in Barangay Singcang-Airport and in the house of Mangoda in Barangay 35,Gamboa said.
The boxes of cigarets, when checked through the barcode scanner of BIR during on-the-spot examination, showed that they were counterfeit and their taxes had not been paid, Gamboa said.
Gamboa said they received information that Mangoda was engaging in selling counterfeit cigarets and they conducted a test buy after months of monitoring.
They submitted the cigarets they bought from Mangoda to the office of Philip Morris in Manila and the latter confirmed that these were, indeed, fake, so they coordinated with BIR, which has the mission order and conducted the buy-bust yesterday, Gamboa said.
He said the market of Mangodaare the retail stores within Bacolod and nearby areas, but walk-ins and deliveries are also allowed.
Mangoda also had about six to seven men working with him.
WILL NOT DO IT AGAIN
Mangoda, a native of Marawi City, said he is appealing to the BIR, the police and the Philip Morriscompanynot to file charges against him as he only engaged in selling the products to earn a living.
He said if his arrest will serve as a warning, he promised that he will not do it again and he will find another business.
Mangoda said the authorities seized 279 reams of cigarets from him, and he sold each ream for P250.
Before engaging in selling fake cigarets for about three months, Mangoda said his previous business was selling DVD (digital optical discs).
He admitted to the media that he was selling those fake cigarets which he bought from a source, whose name he did not disclose, in Manila.
BIR-6 regional director Eduardo Pagulayan Jr. said charges for unlawful possession of excisable product and unlawful pursuit of business were already filed against Mangoda yesterday.
On August 25, 2017, authorities also seized boxes of fake cigarets from a factory in Barangay Bata, Bacolod.*SGG
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