Operatives lift machines used in production of fake cigarettes in Cabiao town. Photo by Armand Galang
CABIAO, Nueva Ecija – Over a billion pesos worth of illegally manufactured cigarettes and the machines that produced them were seized while 29 undocumented Chinese workers were arrested in a raid in a government facility in Barangay Sinipit here at about 4 p.m. Friday, police said.
Police also held for investigation about 124 Filipino workers, report said.
The raid, conducted by a composite team from the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the municipal police, was in line with the Letter Order from Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero dated Jan. 14, police added.
Among the seized items were five lines-making machines, five repacking machines, one filter machine, two grinders and an undetermined number of cigar master cases.
Capt. Rodolfo Gonda, Jr., of the BOC enforcement and security office, said the arrested suspects were placed under the police custody for “appropriate action.”
Also subject of the investigation, he said, was how a warehouse and place owned by the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology and Livelihood Resource Center became an illegal cigarette factory.
He said residents have been complaining about the foul odor in the area but even village officials were denied access for lack warrant.
This prompted the bureau to conduct two weeks of surveillance that resulted to the raid.