Bureau of Customs (BOC) authorities led by Commissioner Ruffy Biazon today filed smuggling charges against an importer and brokers of counterfeit goods, food products and medicines valued at Php22,784,254.00 at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Respondent Rodolfo Yabut, et al, owner of YSM Star Trading was charged with violation of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and the Revised Penal Code.
The shipment in two 40-foot containers was apprehended by operatives of the Enforcement Group under Deputy Commissioner Horacio Suansing Jr.
Included in the charge sheet as respondents were J-Anne Alfonso-Tabilla and Custodio Mendoza Vestidas, Jr., licensed Customs brokers of YSM Star Trading.
The contraband declared as “footwear” were found to contain assorted counterfeit goods including footwears, band aid and plastic mediplast strips and mighty bond glue.
The other misdeclared items were rice, rice flour, knorr sinigang mix, ajinomoto, crispy fry and ginisa mix and magi magic sarap.
“The filing of these cases is an affirmation of the Philippines commitment to the international community that we will not tolerate copyright and intellectual rights infringements in this country,” Biazon said.
Biazon further emphasized that “health and safety of the public may be jeopardized if counterfeiting is left unchecked. He said that the highly dangerous effects on consumers of fake food products and medicines should receive increasing attention among policy makers and law enforcers if we are to maintain a healthy environment.”
The Customs Chief instructed Deputy Commissioner Peter Manzano of the Revenue Collection Monitoring Group (RCMG) and concurrent OIC of the Run After The Smugglers (RATS) Program to file as soon as possible an amended charge sheet that would include the names of customs employees who may have aided and abetted the illegal activities of YSM Trading.
The Customs Chief also instructed the agency’s Post Entry Audit Group (PEAG) to check all previous importations of the respondent company to determine if the same modus operandi was used by the company in the past. Jessil A. Felisario, Public Information & Assistance Division (PIAD), Bureau of Customs