FAKE cigarettes left inside a parked van and worth P725,000 were seized by the Manila Police District-Station 1 on Capulong Street in Tondo, Manila the other night.
The driver of the van, identified as Julito Octing and his helper Anthony Pano, were taken in for questioning by the police during the operation conducted at around 10:30 p.m.
Col. Rolando Magdaluyo, station commander of the MPD-Station 1, said police were able to confiscate about 14,500 packs of fake cigarettes bearing the following brands -- Marvels, Jackpot and Mighty.
On investigation, it was discovered that the cigarettes bore fake BIR stamps and were ready for delivery to Binondo, Manila after they were placed in 29 boxes.
Representatives from the legitimate manufacturers of the said brands confirmed that the said cigarettes were fake.
It was learned that the police had been conducting surveillance for a month and that the suspects have been using different vehicles and loading other items in an apparent issue to confuse authorities.
The suspects were charged with violation of Republic Act 8293 or the intellectual property code in relation to unfair competition and trademark infringement while the police are still investigating to establish the identity of the owner of the fake items.
Police said the surveillance work continues on warehouses suspected of being used for storing different kinds of fake products intended for sale in Manila.