₱150M worth of fake COVID-19 test kits, meds, face masks seized from Chinese-owned warehouse

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — Millions of pesos worth of fake COVID-19 test kits, medicines, face masks, and other branded goods were seized in Manila on Friday, the Bureau of Customs said.

In a statement on Monday, the bureau said it raided a warehouse in Carlos Palanca, San Miguel, which was owned by a Chinese national it did not identify.

Some ₱150 million worth of fake antigen test kits, Lianhua Chinese herbal medicines, and N95 face masks were found in the storage facility.

The BOC said it also seized intellectual property rights-infringed items, including apparel from Nike, Fila, Converse, and Adidas, as well as Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags, wallets, and phone accessories, among others.

The raiding team has arrested the Chinese warehouse owner, who will face various charges, particularly for violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and Food and Drug Administration rules and regulations.

"Definitely, the owner of the warehouse will face the brunt of the law," Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Raniel Ramiro said. "This is not the first and last time we will see these groups operating on our shores. Our job here is to make sure these don't get into the local markets and to stop any future attempts at selling counterfeit goods to our kababayans [fellowmen]."

The warehouse was temporarily padlocked and sealed to secure the imported products until the BOC completes its inventory, it said. The bureau added that it "will further strengthen its border control capacities to stop the entry of illegal goods."