BIR intensifies war vs smuggled cigarettes

Authorities raided more than 100 stores located in public markets selling various brands of illegal cigarettes at a wholesale price as low as P30 per pack

The Bureau of Internal Revenue on Wednesday disclosed that its operatives are now chasing perpetrators of illegal cigarette trade across the country, placing all regional enforcers on alert while their operations were ongoing on 378 stores in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. led the raid in the organization’s first-ever simultaneous nationwide enforcement as part of the fight against illegal cigarette dealers.

Authorities raided 21 provinces, 69 cities and municipalities nationwide, specifically targeting wholesalers and retailers who were selling illegal cigarettes, and they seized millions of dollars’ worth of illegal cigarettes that are untaxed, fake and smuggled.

“Let me make this clear to you illegal traders. This is just the beginning of our simultaneous nationwide operations,” Lumagui said. “We are serious in our crackdown against illicit cigarette trade. We will be strict on implementing the law from here on.”

Authorities raided more than 100 stores located in public markets selling various brands of illegal cigarettes at a wholesale price as low as P30 per pack.

There were 195 simultaneous trade enforcements undertaken by several revenue areas in Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Palawan, Rizal, Cavite and Manila.


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