ORION, Bataan — Combined elements of the Bureau of Customs and the local police raided two rice mills here Friday and seized fake cigarettes and cigarette-making machines with estimated value of P30 million.
Joined by representatives of the Japan Tobacco International, personnel of the Bataan police provincial office, 2nd provincial mobile force company, Orion municipal police station and BOC officials first raided the rice mill in Barangay Sto. Domingo.
The operation, police said, led to the discovery of cigarette-making machines and raw materials worth P20 million.
In a follow-up raid at another rice mill in Barangay Balagtas, the law enforcers found undetermined quantity of imported sacks of rice and master cases of alleged fake cigarettes with brands Winston, Marvels, and D & B, with estimated value of P10 million, police said.
The raids came in the wake of the police seizure of cigarettes valued at P36.15 million in three trailer trucks flagged at checkpoints in the towns of Limay, Orion, and Hermosa earlier.
Limay police chief Major Madtaib Jalman said they confiscated P9 million-worth of cigarettes with brands Marvels, Two Moon and D & B.
In Orion, police chief Major Joshua Gonzales reported the seizure of Mighty, Marvels and Two moon cigarettes valued at P8.4 million while in Hermosa, police chief Major Jeffrey Onde said they confiscated the same brands worth P18.75 million.
Japan Tobacco International, owner of the cigarette brands, made certification that the confiscated cigarettes were fake.
There are unconfirmed reports that the confiscated cigarettes were part of the P264 million worth of cigarettes and imported rice found loaded in a boat at a dockyard in Orion.
The district collector of Customs begged off to be interviewed, saying they have a spokesman in their central office.