Cigarettes with fake BIR seals seized in Cam Sur

Photo courtesy of Mike Gravito

PASACAO, Camarines Sur (Bicol Standard) -- At least 23 boxes of cigarettes with alleged fake Bureau of Internal Revenue seals were intercepted by the Philippine Coast Guard in this town en route from Naga City to Pasacao.

The cigarette boxes were estimated to have a value of P690,000.00, according to the Coast Guard.

The investigation revealed that the boxes were to be brought to San Pascual, Masbate.

Authorities arrested Esteban Panuelos De Luna, 44 years old, a resident of San Isidro, Goa, Camarines Sur, the driver of the van in which the cigarettes were loaded.

Intelligence sources say the distribution of said cigarettes has long been under the close watch of government agents, after reports that cigarettes sold at a much cheaper price were being peddled in small store in the area, as well as adjacent communities.

The cigarette packs were clandestinely wrapped in gas stove boxes and garbage bags. (With additional report from Mike Gravito)