Customs confiscates P5-M worth of PPE and Alcohol

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DAVAO CITY — Government authorities led by Bureau of Customs raided on Friday raided a store on Friday, March 26, suspected of selling overpriced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), alcohol and other medical supplies worth P5-million.

Armed with a letter of authority (LOA), elements of the BOC-CIIS and PCG raided the Binondo store at 9:20 in the morning which resulted to the apprehension of Php 5,000,000.00 worth of face masks, gloves, goggles, alcohols, thermal scanners, test tubes and syringes.

However, the owners of the store were not around during the raid as the team was only assisted by the building administrator and store personnel.

Customs personnel were assisted by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Manila Police District (MPD) and concerned citizens of Barangay 281-26 when the raid was conducted. The establishment was further verified to have been undergoing renovation and only operating through online transactions.

The BOC in a press statement said investigation revealed that the store’s online operations charged online buyers with exorbitant prices or almost four times the suggested retail price.

The BOC-CIIS is now doing an inventory of apprehended goods. Hence, the owners were given 15 days to present importation documents to prove that the said items were legally procured and if not, they shall face charges for smuggling in violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The statement added “The recent apprehension demonstrates the relentless campaign of BOC to curb smuggling despite the health risk due to COVID-19 pandemic. It also sends a strong message and stern warning to smugglers and unscrupulous businessmen who continue to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of PPE and medical supplies.”-Jiann A.Padillo

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