BOC seizes P9-M worth of smuggled Chinese medicines, goods

Philippine News Agency
February 21, 2021

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has confiscated PHP9 million worth of smuggled Chinese goods, including a medicine being marketed as cure for Covid-19 in Parañaque City.

Alvin Enciso, chief of Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at the Manila International Container Port, led a raiding team that discovered the illegally imported Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen, cigarettes, food items, and other goods at a warehouse along Sunrise Street in Tambo on Friday.

“We will need to do inventory, but most of the goods are Lianhua Qingwen which is used as medicine for Covid-19,” Enciso said in a statement on Sunday.

Serving the letter of authority (LOA) signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the BOC-CIIS carried out the raid with members of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Special Action Unit.

“The LOA was served and explained to the representatives of the warehouse,” he said.

The seized items are now placed and secured at the BOC premises where an inventory will take place on Monday.

BOC Deputy Commissioner Raniel Ramiro lauded the operation as it strengthens their campaign against illegal smuggling and the proliferation of prohibited items in the country.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Lianhua Qingwen produced by one of China's renowned Traditional Chinese Medicine manufacturers, Shijiazhuang Yiling Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila said the move marks an important milestone in the entrance of traditional Chinese medicines in the country.

However, both the FDA and the Embassy reminded the public to only purchase and consume authentic products through authorized distributors. (PNA)

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