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Lumagui: BIR raids 7 makeshift warehouses of illicit cigarettes in Palawan, 150M in tax liability

Illicit cigarettes raid in Palawan

Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. reports that a successful raid of seven (7) makeshift warehouses in Brooke’s Point, Palawan, was conducted on May 1, 2024. The BIR seized 227,351 packs of illicit cigarettes. After inventory of the seized illicit products, the illicit traders and possessors were found responsible for Php 150,693,543 in tax liability. This is a particularly successful operation for the BIR because Palawan is considered a hotspot for the illicit cigarette trade.

“The BIR is continuous in its war against illicit vape and cigarette trade, all over the Philippines. Whether the illicit trade is in Palawan or in Metro Manila, we will pursue them. Our regional and district offices have their orders to deploy all available manpower in curbing illicit vape and cigarette trade,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

There were eight (8) targeted and non-targeted individuals who were positively confirmed to be in possession of the illegal contraband. They will be facing criminal charges in accordance with Sections 6C, 15, 130, 131, 144, 145, 154, 171, 172, 254, 263A, and 265 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, as amended.

The activity was a joint effort with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Department of Health (DOH). The apprehension is a template for the whole-of-government coordination efforts on the war against illicit trade envisioned and directed by the President.

“Ang ilegal na vape at sigarilyo ay walang lugar sa Bagong Pilipinas. Susuyurin ng Bagong BIR ang buong Pilipinas para hanapin at kasuhan ang lahat ng nagbebenta ng ilegal na vape at sigarilyo. Magbayad kayo ng tamang buwis,” Commissioner Lumagui stated.

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