Illegal cigarette warehouse raided in Bulacan, 3 Chinese nat’ls held

AGENTS of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office this week raided a warehouse in Sta. Maria municipality being used to store smuggled cigarette and tobacco products being sold in Central Luzon and Metro Manila, local police director, Colonel Lawrence B. Cajipe told the Journal Group Saturday.

In a report to Police Regional Office 3 director, Brigadier General Rhodel O. Sermonia, the official said that the raid in Barangay Parada on Wednesday afternoon also resulted in the arrest of three undocumented Chinese nationals and four of their Filipino workers.

He identified the arrested Chinese nationals as Jianju Chen, Jiancai Shi and Wuzhi Hi. The arrested Filipinos were Cris Rosales, Elmeder And, Niño Castillo and Julio Dumalaon.

Cajipe said prior to the raid, patrolling officers from the Bulacan 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company spotted Castillo wearing a PNP athletic short while walking along the Bgy. San Vicente-Muzon Road.

While about to be accosted, Castillo ran inside the warehouse where he was chased by the policemen. Cajipe said his men were surprised to discover the presence of the three Chinese nationals and their three other workers, all without face masks and loading a huge volume of Mighty and Moon cigarettes on a wing van.

After making the discovery, the policemen sought the help of the Sta. Maria Municipal Business Permit and Licensing Office and the Sta. Maria Municipal Police Station in inspecting the compound and verifying its papers.

Cajipe said the G20 Environmental Solutions Group warehouse is owned by one Estella Nepomuceno. He added that the Chinese nationals and their workers were placed under arrest after they failed to show business permits and other documents.

The warehouse was placed under guard by the local police. The official said they are investigating the documents of the warehouse and the tobacco products in coordination with the Bureau of Customs and the Japan Tobacco Industry.

Initially, criminal complaits for operating business without permit, violation of Municipal Ordinance No. 404, violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act will be filed against the accused. Castillo will also be charged for illegal use of police uniform and insignia.