BIR tags Calugay as prime suspect


THE regional office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has confirmed that charges are being finalized against Dong Calugay, the prime suspect in the manufacturing of fake cigarettes in Barangay Portic in Bugallon in a factory raided last month.

Calugay was named prime suspect based on the National Bureau of Investigation’s validation of the report of Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PMFTC) on the proliferation of fake cigarettes in the country.

Ronnel Victor Ruiz, Excise Tax Division chief of BIR Region 1, even said the ongoing investigation and preparation of charges will not be affected by the recent major revamp of regional directors ordered by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay last January 10.

Effective January 14, Clavelina Nacar, regional director of BIR Region 1 will be reassigned to Tuguegarao City as regional director of Cagayan Valley region, while Ernesto Mangabat BIR Regional Director in Tuguegarao, will be reassigned to BIR Region 1 located in Calasiao.

Ruiz said the investigation report of BIR Region 1 was already handed to Commissioner Dulay and the BIR is now set to file the cases against those behind the operation of the factory of fake cigarettes in Bugallon town.

He said possession of unregistered tax stamps, possession of cigarette product, unregistered manufacturing of tobacco products and intellectual property rights are the initial charges that will be filed against Calugay based on the complaint of PMFTC.

Calugay had denied involvement in the operation of the factory of fake cigarette.

All the confiscated item and materials in manufacturing fake cigarette seized in Portic, Bugallon and Malabago, Mangaldan are now under the custody of the BIR.

BIR explained that the cases against Calugay have not been filed because the report for the seizure of evidence has not been done. (Nora Dominguez)

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