PHP30-M worth of smuggled gadgets seized in Tondo raid

By , on February 2, 2017

PHP30-M worth of smuggled gadgets seized in Tondo raid (Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr)
PHP30-M worth of smuggled gadgets seized in Tondo raid (Photo: Sean MacEntee/Flickr)

MANILA—The Bureau of Customs on Tuesday seized branded communication and electronic gadgets including iPhone 7 units, with an estimated amount of PHP30 million in a raid in Tondo, Manila.

According to Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil Estrella, the search was conducted in a building in Lakandula Street, based on intelligence reports that an online shop identified as Kim Store sells imported high-end communication gadgets under suspicious importation schemes and processes.

“Through extensive probes, agents of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) were able to locate its depot in Tondo, Manila,” he said.

Estrella cited the seized items as iPhone 7 units, Macbook laptops, Samsung Galaxy S7 series, Nexus 6Ps, Zenfone 3 Ultra, Sony Xperia (pixel XL 32 GB), Canon Cameras, tablets and music players, audio accessories, gadgets for safety and security, etc.

On the other hand, Intelligence Officer Joel Pinawin, team leader of the CIIS operating unit said based on initial report that Kim Store is owned by a certain ‘Francis’, a Filipino-Chinese businessman in Binondo, currently engaged in online shopping business selling alleged smuggled items.

“We are still validating some intelligence reports and we will fully identify the real owners of Kim Store in the next few days,” he added.

The raiding team were armed with Letter of Authority, Warrant of Seizure and Detention, and Mission Order issued by Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.

He added that the owner of the online shop has 15 days to present necessary documents or the seized items will be forfeited in favor of the government.

“Kailangan nilang magsubmit pertinent papers and should also prove if they were authorized to import the branded items,” the CIIS director added.

He noted that they have also coordinated with the companies or the local distributors of the high-end gadgets in the country.

Estrella added the seized items are now padlocked inside the storehouse of the said shop in Tondo and tightly guarded by CIIS agents.