MANILA - The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday uncovered P600 million worth of counterfeit beauty and skin care products in separate inspections in warehouses located in Tondo and Binondo, Manila.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña displayed the products to the media in a press conference held at the Tondo warehouse.
"We are now coordinating with other brand owners to identify whether their products found in both warehouses are counterfeit," Lapeña said.
Agents discovered perfumes, soaps and whitening lotions. Some anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal creams discovered may also pose health risks to users, he said.
"The continuous usage of these products pose harm to our health. These are unfit for human consumption," he said.
"Hindi rin dumaan sa quality control. These products might contain poisonous chemicals na hindi naman nila ini-indicate sa package," Lapeña said.
Customs Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) agents acted on a "Letter of Authority" of the Customs chief to inspect the warehouse at Building 1336, Antonio Rivera St. in Tondo, and in Dona Maria Lim Building in Ilang-Ilang St. in Binondo, for alleged violations of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
A certain Kevin Lee occupies the warehouse in Tondo while a alleged business partners Anthony Lee and Brian Lee are the occupants of the warehouse in Binondo, the bureau said.
The BOC will file charges of violation of Intellectual Property Rights Law against those responsible for the sale and distribution of counterfeit products.
Customs agents left notices for the building owners since no one was found in the facilities during the inspection.
The occupants have 15 days from the date of inspection to produce the necessary documents, otherwise, "we will seize right away these products and destroy them immediately," Lapeña said.
Meanwhile, Lapeña advised the public to be cautious when buying cheap beauty products.
"Verify markings if it has passed through FDA [Food and Drug Administration]. May mga numbers na sequential, hindi pare-parehas. Kapag may nagbenta ng mura, be very cautious," he said.