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Customs seizes P791M worth of smuggled cigarettes

BUREAU of Customs operatives have confiscated P791 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and vape products from Singapore at the Manila International Container Port.

The cargo, consigned to Burias Jang Consumer Goods Trading, was declared to contain cases of tobacco products but turned out to include illicit cigarettes and other misdeclared and undeclared items.

«It is evident with this latest operation that smuggling activities continue to prey upon unsuspecting consumers. We have strict tobacco importation laws that aim to protect our citizens from unnecessary harm by illegally traded and imported cigarette products. As an answer to the President's directive, we will continue working to get to the bottom of this menace and stop the dangers these bring,» Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said.

Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services Director Verne Enciso said the shipment contains various brands of cigarettes.

«The agency's mandate is not only to pursue smugglers but also to anticipate their operations proactively. We need to be on our toes even before they start an operation. This is our aim when using the skills, technology, and resources we gathered and honed throughout the years,» Enciso said.