Authorities arrested a trader selling counterfeit Mighty and Marvels cigarettes to a sari-sari store in Barangay Barucboc, Quezon, Isabela on Wednesday.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue and law enforcement agencies have been vigilant against dealers of fake products over the past few months. These traders do not pay taxes and elude contribution to the economy, according to authorities.
Barangay officials said the trader was arrested, after a store helper went to the barangay hall of Barucboc and sought the assistance of ‘tanods’ to report that a dubious male tried to sell cartons of suspicious cigarettes to the storeowner’s daughter, who held the suspect by pretending she was buying the items.
Barangay officials immediately proceeded to the store and caught Arnel Contado Altavano, 33, in the act of selling fake Mighty and Marvels menthol and full flavor variants to the sari-sari store.
A Mighty Corp. representative came by the store and confirmed that the cigarette variants were indeed counterfeit.
The suspect, a resident of Barangay Manano, Mallig, Isabela, was arrested and subsequently turned over to the Philippine National Police station in Quezon town for violating section 155, in relation to section 170 of Republic Act 8293, or the Intellectual Property Code.
Authorities cited the law as the basis for filing a criminal case docketed as No. INQ-II-04-2016G-00036 and Criminal Case no. 16-214 at 12th MCTC Malling, Quezon, Isabela.
The suspect, however, was released from police custody after posting a P10,000 bond recommended by the provincial fiscal.
Tax officials warned counterfeiters, individuals and business establishments against the sale and distribution of fake cigarettes or any counterfeit products.
Mighty Corp. representatives have coordinated with authorities from Customs, BIR, National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police for the arrest of unscrupulous individuals and businesses trying to sell counterfeit cigarettes in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and various parts of Visayas and Mindanao.