The Department of Finance (DOF) said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is set to file charges against individuals behind the alleged counterfeit cigarette tax stamps seized recently in Bacolod City.

In a statement released by the DOF on Wednesday, June 9, the department quoted BIR Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa as saying that criminal charges and assess deficiency taxes will be filed against the manufacturers of some P544 million counterfeit cigarette tax stamps.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Guballa said the 15 million pieces of alleged fake internal revenue tax stamps were confiscated last May 4 at a warehouse and in three trucks parked outside the premises in Barangay Tangub in Bacolod City.

Guballa also told Dominguez that the BIR discovered various raw and packaging materials for cigarette production.

“The BIR office in Region 12 will file—and we coordinated with them00the necessary criminal cases and the assessment of deficiency taxes on this,” Guballa said in his report during a recent DOF Executive Committee meeting.

Moreover, Guballa reported that the BIR Strike Team, along with personnel from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), inspected the facility of GB Global Exprez Inc. at the Angeles Industrial Park in Pampanga.

According to Guballa, the bureau found a total of 3,068 cigarette mastercases of the A380 and Manchester brands inside the facility, which GB Global personnel at the site claimed that the cigarettes were manufactured as part of a “dry run” of its facilities.

“The BIR made sure that the subject cigarettes would not be removed from the premises as the Bureau will undertake appropriate action against the company,” the DOF said.

Guballa also reported that the BIR had padlocked 83 establishments and collected P737.28 million in April 2021 alone under its Oplan Kandado program.

Earlier, PEZA suspended the operations of GB Global over an alleged involved in illicit cigarette trade.

PEZA Director General Charito Plaza earlier said she has ordered the suspension of operations and incentives of GB Global since February for non-registration with the BIR hence, absence of the necessary permit to operate.

Source: Manila Bulletin (