THE Bureau of Customs seized P9 million worth of smuggled Chinese goods, among them the popular Lianhua Qingwen which is being marketed as a cure for coronavirus disease.
Alvin Enciso, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at the Manila International Container Port, led the raid on February 19 at the warehouse and storage located on Sunrise Street in Tambo, Parañaque City.
“We will need to do an inventory, but most of the goods are Lianhua Qingwen which is used as medicine for COVID-19,” Enciso said.
The team also found various Chinese cigarettes, medicines, food items, and other illegally imported goods.
BOC-CIIS carried out the raid with members of the National Bureau of Investigation Special Action Unit (NBI SAU). They served the Letter of Authority (LOA), which was signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
“The LOA was served and explained to the representatives of the warehouse,” Enciso said, adding that they already completed the hauling of the “prohibited goods” from the warehouse.
“We always make sure to follow the rules in every operation. They (representatives) have a right to know the basis on which these goods are being seized,” Guerrero said.
The goods were placed and secured at the Customs bureau premises where an inventory is scheduled to be conducted today, February 22.
Customs Deputy Commissioner Raniel Ramiro hailed the operation, noting that it strengthens the bureau’s campaign against illegal smuggling and the proliferation of prohibited items in the country.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Lian Hua Qing Wen produced by one of China’s renowned Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) manufacturers, Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila lauded the move, saying that it marks an important milestone in the entrance of traditional Chinese medicines in the country.
However, the FDA and the Embassy reminded the public to only purchase and consume authentic products through authorized distributors