Mighty Corp. willing to open warehouses for probe into fake tax stamps
Homegrown cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation on Thursday said it was willing to cooperate in an investigation after joint forces of the bureaus of Customs and Internal Revenue yielded 23.2 million packs of cigarettes with fake tax stamps in different raids.
In a statement, Mighty Corp. executive vice president and spokesperson Oscar Barrientos said the company was willing to open all its warehouses for seizure of fake cigarettes should any be found in their premises and noted their “long-standing position that it is not in the business of producing fake cigarette products as its own local brands are well-accepted by its customers.”
“The company, however, bewails the use by other government agencies of Mission Orders of BOC to pursue schemes of its competitors to seize its products using a false pretext that fake cigarettes are stored in its warehouses because of its being in the forefront of effort to alleviate the plight of local tobacco farmers through amendatory legislation,” Barrientos added.
The counterfeit tax stamps would deprive the government of some P696 million in unpaid taxes, given an excise tax of P30 a pack.
Here is the rest of Mighty’s statement:
Barrientos explained that it was plainly from the result of raids conducted yesterday by BOC in warehouses of Mighty in Pampanga and General Santos that no fake products of its competitors were found. That should have aborted the activity. But other government regulators without appropriate Mission Orders or directives from its head offices had used the raid to assert offenses by Mighty not covered by the BOC orders.
Mighty had reiterated its plea that the BOC keep vigilant at its function to avert smuggling and ensure collection of duties and taxes as it does not produce fake products and had done nothing to violate any of its regulations or of the Tariff and Customs Code.
The company simply requests that these raids which has made front page news but which had not resulted in the confiscation of fake products of its competitors, not be misused by its competitors who only seek the destruction of a 70-year-old local cigarette manufacturing company.
Barrientos said the company will take steps to ask for the immediate re-opening of its warehouses, and to pursue punitive action against those who had misused the BOC Mission Orders for insidious purposes.
“A local company should not cower or be at the tender mercies of its competitors who are against its advocacy of alleviating the plight of local tobacco farmers,” he added. JE
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