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Bureau of Customs seizes 'smuggled' gadgets from online shop depot Kim Store

Acting on intelligence reports, the Bureau of Customs said it seized on Monday what it described as high-end end communication and electronic gadgets worth millions of pesos.

Some high-, all believed to be smuggled into the country, were seized by agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in a building along on Monday, 30 January.

Online shop Kim Store, with a postal address on Lakandula Street in Tondo, Manila was selling imported gadgets, the bureau said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Among the items seized were units of Iphone 7 cellular phones, Macbook laptops, Samsung Galaxy S7 series phones, Nexus 6Ps phones, Zenfone 3 Ultra phones, Sony Xperia phones, Canon cameras, tablets and music players, audio accessories, and gadgets for safety and security," the BOC noted.

“There are plenty of cases wherein high-end communication and electronic gadgets are smuggled into the country through misdeclaration schemes – a top form of smuggling – used by smugglers to defraud and avoid paying correct duties and taxes to the government," Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil L. Estrella said.

"Kim Store is owned by a certain ‘Francis’, a Filipino-Chinese businessman in Binondo, who is engaged in selling smuggled items online," the bureau said, citing an initial report submitted by Intelligence Officer Joel Pinawin, team leader of the CIIS operating unit, to Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon.

The staff manning Kim Store’s depot failed to present documents for the imported items, the bureau noted.

“We are still validating some intelligence reports, and we will fully identify the real owners of Kim Store in the next few days,” Pinawin reported.

Kim Store was padlocked by the bureau, with the seized items inside the depot and guarded by CIIS agents.

“BOC, under my watch, will often conduct raids in warehouses, storehouses, and depots, to combat the malpractice and related crimes, and finally jail perpetrators, once and for all,” Faeldon said. — GMA News

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