BIR to look into illegal cigarettes trade in Central Luzon
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is looking into the possibility that a huge illegal cigarettes trade exists in Central Luzon.
Revenue collectors and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents earlier jointly seized 480 cases of cigarettes without tax stamps in a warehouse store of Collete’s PX Store in Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija.
The agency estimated the cost of the missing tax stamps at P7.2 million. Industry sources estimated the street value of the items at P6.25 million, if sold at P25 per pack.
BIR Regional Director Jethro Sabariaga said the warehouse is an indication of “a bigger operation of selling cigarettes without the proper tax stamps.”
Last year, authorities seized P1 billion-worth of fake cigarettes, fake tax stamps worth approximately P175 million, raw materials, machines for cigarette manufacturing and other paraphernalia in separate raids in Pangasinan, Pampanga and Bulacan.
The agency has observed a similar incident in the region since late last year.
Under Section 172 of the Tax Code, the BIR may detain products when it has good reason to believe that the proper excise taxes were not paid.
The BIR is planning to conduct more operations to curtail the illegal activity.
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