THE BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) has uncovered a number of smuggled cigarette-making machines, the Department of Finance (DoF) reported.
In a statement, the DoF said that the BIR “seized four unlicensed cigarette making machines, six cigarette-packing machines and a filter-making machine along with fake cigarette tax stamps inside the San Simon Industrial Park in Pampanga. The bureau reported to the Finance chief that the machines were smuggled into the country.”
“Two factories in Cagayan de Oro, meanwhile, yielded unregistered cigarette making machines, packaging machines and a filter making machine during recent operations also conducted by the BIR strike team. Filter rods, tipping paper, cigarette paper, cut filters, inner liners pack and wrap film, plug wraps, acetate tow and other materials used to manufacture cigarettes were also seized during the raids,” it added.
This comes after the BIR seized a total of 531 mastercases of smuggled cigarettes with various brands so far.
“You better trace where these machines came from,” Dominguez said. “Who are the people behind this? How did these machines get in?,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said to the Customs bureau during their Executive Committee meeting on Monday.
Customs Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco meanwhile said that the unsanctioned entry of machines will be investigated. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan