Authorities arrested in an entrapment operation three suspects supplying counterfeit or fake cigarettes in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Pangasinan on Thursday, September 14 in Barangay Bacag, Villasis, Pangsinan.
The joint elements of CIDG Pangasinan PFU SATT-3 and the Villasis Municipal Police Station confiscated from the suspects P675,000 worth of counterfeit cigarettes, or an imitation of locally-produced cigarette brands.
The suspects who were all residents of Nueva Ecija identified as Melvin Dionisio, 41; Clarence Mataverde, 44 and Jocelyn Anasan, 42 during the investigation disclosed they have been distributing fake items to various stores not only in their home province but also in Tarlac and Pangasinan.
CIDIG operatives were tipped off by their informant about the illicit operations of the group and gave details of the white Ford Ranger van with plate No. CAE-2808 carrying six master cases of two brands of counterfeit cigarettes proceeding to Villasis, Pangasinan.
Immediately, CIDG operatives tapped the assistance of the Villasis MPS and enforced the Oplan OLEA in their buy-bust operation and eventually the entrapment raid followed and apprehended the suppliers of the fake cigarettes.
The entrapment operation was conducted at around 9:45pm on September 14 and done with the presence of Bacag, Villasis officials.
Authorities are still looking into the sources of the counterfeit goods as they vowed to conduct more trade enforcement activities in the province.
The three suspects were brought to the CIDG office and faced charges in connection with the Republic Act 8293 also known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.