A COMPOSITE team from the National Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Internal Revenue has busted a factory engaged in counterfeiting popular cigarette brands after a raid conducted in Barangay Portic, Bugallon in Pangasinan this week.
The factory had a permit for piggery operation.
The raiding team from the NBI-Intellectual Property Rights Division and BIR found 28 workers, including 5 Chinese nationals, working at the factory under a certain Dong Calugay and John Does. A highly placed source revealed that one of the John Does is a candidate running for congressman.
After receiving a mission order signed by Atty. Arnel Guballa, deputy commissioner of BIR-National Office, the authorities swooped down on a suspected factory of fake cigarettes in Barangay Portic where they seized 3 units of packing machines, 24 filter rods, 134 sacks of cut fillers, packs of foil, packs of cigarettes paper, packs of tipping paper, and counterfeit BIR tax stamps.
The mission order was issued against one Dong Calugay, the name of the man who applied for a barangay permit to operate a piggery that was needed for the issuance of an environmental compliance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Based on the apprehension report, the BIR said the suspects -- Calugay and John Does -- violated the National Revenue Internal Code of 1997, particularly the lack of registration, possession of unregistered stamps, possession and illegal manufacturing of counterfeit cigarettes brands and unregistered manufacturing of tobacco products.
It was found out that operators of the unlicensed cigarettes factory, that was shut down after discovery of untaxed cigarettes worth at least P2 billion, had secured permits to operate as a piggery.
The property, fenced with barbed wire, is hidden from the road by mango trees.
“We were surprised when the team from NBI and BIR arrived on the afternoon of November 28. We had no idea at all that such illegal factory existed near the piggery,” Edilberto Urduna, chairman of Bgy. Portic, said.