IMAX Harbor International Trading, Corp. charged for smuggling by Customs

Five officials of a Manila-based trading company and a customs broker were formally charged today at the Department of Justice (DOJ) by officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) led by Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon for violations on certain provisions of the Tariffs and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), Section 166 of Republic Act 8293 (Intellectual Property Code), Section 4, Republic Act 8203 (Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs) and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code.
According to Biazon, IMAX Harbor International Trading, Corp.’s President and Chairman of the Board Doroteo Montalbo, together with his Board of Directors Rochelle S. Posadas, Jose N. Dizon, Rafael V. Lactao, Elaine D. Wee, and IMAX’s licensed customs broker Roger M. Permejo were sued after their attempt to illegally slip two 40-foot container vans filled with 300-million pesos worth of counterfeit bags, medicines, mobile phones, mobile phone batteries and chargers, and wristwatches, into the country in September 2011 was foiled.
“Smuggling of counterfeit goods is very damaging to the country’s economy, not only in terms of foregone duties and taxes, but also because of its impact on the local business and labor. Every illegally imported counterfeit bag that is able to enter the local market could be one locally manufactured bag left unsold. And for every unsold locally manufactured bag could be a loss of labor man hours,” Biazon said.
 “This is precisely the reason why we are closely monitoring all cargoes that enter the country, especially those suspected to be fake if only to protect the local business and labour,” Biazon added.
The IMAX shipment was declared as plastic products, bags, and others in its entry. However, upon examination by Customs officials, the two container vans turned out to contain high-end counterfeit bags, medicines, and cellphones.
Today’s filing of a smuggling case at the DOJ brings to 32, the number of cases filed against suspected smugglers by the BOC under Commissioner Biazon’s seven months leadership.