MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday reported the seizure of PHP30 million worth of counterfeit medicines in a recent operation in Parañaque City.
In a statement, the bureau said a suspect identified as Adel Rajput, a Pakistani, was arrested during the January 5 operation which was conducted in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
The counterfeit medicines such as Biogesic, Neozep, Bioflu, Immunpro, Ivermectin, Phenokinon F Injection, Medicol, Planax, Alaxan FR, MX3, and others were packed in cartons printed with Chinese characters.
They were found in two storages at 7434B and 7434C Highland St., Marcelo Green Village and 27 Pearl St., Severina Subdivision, Km 18, Barangay Marcelo, Parañaque.
The suspect was brought to the Parañaque City Prosecutors' Office for an inquest and will face various cases for violation of Sec. 1401 (Unlawful Importation/Exportation), Sec. 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) paragraph (l) (5) in relation to Sec. 118 (Prohibited Importation and Exportation) paragraph (e) of the CMTA, and the violation of Republic Act No. 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and its Pertinent Rules and Regulations). His visa will be under a revocation process by the Bureau of Immigration.
Alvin Enciso, Intelligence Officer II and Chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) led the implementation of the Letter of Authority together with the Mission Order signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
A certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Unilab Pharmaceuticals, the makers of market-leading paracetamol brand Biogesic, said the medicines were counterfeit.
Raniel Ramiro, Customs Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence Group, said they received reports about the presence of counterfeit items, which prompted them to launch the operation.
“It’s not just items, but medicines. We acted on this immediately because this can pose a health threat. They are selling these to unsuspecting people whose only hope is to buy authentic medicines for themselves and their loved ones,” he said.
The contraband was immediately hauled to the BOC premises, though the inspection and inventory are still ongoing.
Last Nov. 24, 2021, BOC also nabbed fake medicines from a warehouse in Pasig City such as Alaxan, Tuseran Forte, Propan, and Diatabs with an estimated value of PHP50 million. (PNA)