By Betheena Kae Unite
A huge plant that manufactures several counterfeit products enough for nationwide distribution was busted in Guiguinto, Bulacan Saturday.
Retired Colonel Neil Estrella, Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) director, said that billions of pesos worth of counterfeit toiletries, medicines, shoes and cigarettes were seized during the raid inside the Richard Isagani Sandy (RIS) 5 Industrial Complex located in Tabang, Guiguinto.
Bureau of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said the plant was owned by certain William, Isagani, and Sandy. Their real identities were still being verified.
“We’re still conducting the inventory but upon discovering the fake products, we can say that they are worth billions of pesos,” Estrella said in a phone interview.
Estrella also disclosed that the plant was not just an ordinary warehouse but “a super warehouse that has a big plant inside.”
He also said that the plant was using machines and equipment able to manufacture fake products “good for nationwide distribution.”
The machines, Estrella said, were imported legally into the country but eventually were used for illegal activities.
Representatives from the Intellectual Property — Brand Protection Specialists confirmed that the samples of seized goods were indeed counterfeit products of original brands such as Palmolive, Dove, Sun Silk, Cream Silk, Johnson products,, Safeguard, Cetaphil, Gucci shoes and Marlboro.
Other seized items include candies, lubricants, cigarettes, motor oils, used clothing, medicines, insect repellent, and deodorant.
Counterfeit goods are classified as prohibited under the Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
Estrella said the fake products that were already distributed nationwide from the plant could still be countered with the help of other government agencies.
“Everyone should help to clean the market of fake products, from the barangay unit to government agencies. The job to stop the proliferation of fake products should not stop upon BOC’s discovery of fraud warehouses,” Estrella added.
Faeldon said the BOC’s relentless efforts to suppress the proliferation of fake products were meant to protect consumers, local manufacturers and the public at large.
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