The Philippines Bureau of Customs (BOC) has partnered with tobacco companies to help combat illicit trade in the country, reports the Philippine News Agency
“These groups [smugglers and illicit traders] have been very creative and aggressive in entering our markets,” said Bienvenido Rubio, BOC commissioner. “Accordingly, close cooperation with tobacco companies is aimed at addressing their various modus (operandi) with even more comprehensive methods.”
The BOC met with Philip Morris International and Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. executives. Rubio said they will work together to ensure public health safety and fair tobacco trade.
“That has always been our goal and our mandate—to put these smugglers away and make them accountable, answerable and ultimately face the consequences of their nefarious activities,” he said.
“It is important for us to recognize that these (schemes) are not only very real threats but well-orchestrated plans aimed at circumventing our laws,” said Verne Enciso, customs intelligence and investigation service director.