Smuggling cases filed vs counterfeit goods trader
The owner of a trading firm engaged in the importation of counterfeit goods and its customs broker face smuggling-related charges for the illegal entry of various fake products filed by the Bureau of Customs before the Department of Justice.
Noel Villaflor, owner and proprietor of NSGV Trading; and customs broker Sherjun Saldon have been charged with violating the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, in relation to the importation of fake products which violates Republic Act (RA) 8293, or the Intellectual Property (IP) Code of the Philippines. In addition, Villaflor and Saldon are charged with violating the Revised Penal Code for falsifying public documents.
The case stemmed from NGSV’s importation of one (1) 40-foot container that arrived at the Manila International Container Port from China in May 2014. The shipment, composed of 600 cartons of what was declared to contain assorted women’s blouses; cotton fabric; polyester women’s pants, jackets, coats and scarves; board paper; ladies’ canvas shoes; PVC flooring; assorted plastic cases and boxes; belts and caps; skateboards; skateboard parts; compactor parts; and aluminum ladder and grinders were found to contain 15,960 assorted undeclared items, many of which were counterfeit or “Class A” luxury bag models like the “Hermes Evelyne” and “Hermes Lindy; “Ralph Lauren Ricky”; “Tory Burch Ella” tote; “Prada Saffiano Lux” tote; “Celine Phantom”; “Michael Kors Selma” satchel and “Michael Kors Jet Set” tote and the “Burberry Susana” hobo tote. Also found were fake “Fitflop Fleur” sandals’ “Lacoste” wallets and tote bags; “Ray-Ban” eyewear; as well as clothing and footwear bearing local brands “Onesimus” and “Una Rosa.” Total estimated value was pegged at over P300-Million.
“We have been in close coordination with the brand owners, IPOPHL and other government agencies to step-up our drive against fake products. It is our duty and responsibility to protect our consumers from the entry of products that may bring health hazards or cause harm to legitimate entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.
The Bureau has been working closely with the multi-agency IP taskforce National Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (NCIPR) to improve seizures and apprehensions of counterfeit traders. NCIPR is composed of Department of Justice (DOJ), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Optical Media Board (OMB), Philippine National Police (PNP), Food and Drug Administration(FDA), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), National Book Development Board (NBDB), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime (OSETC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
SUMMARY OF THE CASE
|VIOLATIONS||1. Sections 3601 and 101 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), as amended, in relation to Section 166 of Republic Act 8293 (Intellectual Property Code)
2. Sections 3602 and 2503 of the TCCP, as amended
3. Article 172 in relation to Articles 171 and 183 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines (RPC)
|GOODS||1 x 40’ container van declared as apparel and other items, but found to contain various counterfeit goods, with labels: Hermes Bags/Pants/Sandals, Louis Vuitton Bags/Shoes, Gucci Shoes, Michael Kors Bags, Tory Burch Bags/Shoes, Calvin Klein Bags, Prada Bags/Jacket, Kipling Bags, Lacoste Bags, Mango Bags, Longchamp Bags, Zara Bags, Burberry Bags/Pants, Kate Spade Bags. Chanel Bags, Ralph Lauren Bags, Celine Bags, Fendi Bags, Una Rosa Shoes|
|DATE & PORT OF ARRIVAL||May 13, 2014; Manila International Container Port|
|ESTIMATED MARKET VALUE||Over P 300-Million
*The value was provided by the brand owners to IPOPHL, based on the price of the original goods.
|PORT OF ORIGIN||China|