April 22, 2019
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is set to file a tax evasion case this week against an alleged manufacturer of fake cigarettes in Pangasinan.
“We will file the case on April 25. It’s a big case. Actually its basis will be the fake internal revenue stamps we discovered [last year]…,” BIR officer Remedios Advincula Jr. told reporters last week.
Advincula was referring to a raid conducted in November against a illegal cigarette factory in Barangay Portic in Bugallon, Pangasinan.
At least P2 billion worth of cigarettes packed and imprinted with unregistered tax stamps, along with fake brand labels, was seized during the raid. Authorities later discovered that the factory had been given a barangay permit to operate as a piggery.
Around 30 workers, including five Chinese, were said to have been found working in the illegal cigarette factory.
Contraband cigarettes have been blamed by the Finance department as a significant source of lost revenues and the BIR recently said that the illegal tobacco trade had shifted from smuggling cigarettes to producing counterfeits using undocumented machines acquired from China.
The bureau also recently discovered a new scheme being used by illicit tobacco traders to avoid taxes.
Recycled tax stamps — gathered by means of a promo where these are exchanged for goods — are reportedly being used to sell fake cigarettes.
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