Bureau of Customs sent us After Mission Report of the raid
The Bureau of Customs reached out to us and wanted to share their side of the story on how the whole operation went thru. This is the copy of the After Mission Report dated February 1, 2017.
The scanned documents have been transcribed by us as shown below.
Republic of the Philippines
Department of Finance
Bureau of Customs
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service
For: Atty. Teddy Sandy S. Raval
Deputy Commissioner, Intelligence Group (IG)
Thru: Col. Neil Anthony I. Estrella
Director III, CIIS
Subject: After Mission Report Re: Mission Order No. 01-27-2017-573 issued by Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon at Kim Gadgettron Store dated January 26, 2017.
Date: February 1, 2017.
The undersigned submits the After Mission Report, to wit:
1) The undersigned operatives received information that a certain warehouse located at No. 558 Lakandula St., Tondo, Manila that is engaged in on-line selling of gadgets is said to be storing good/products that has not been paid the correct duties and taxes considering the discrepancy of the price they are selling the gadgets as against the actual price that is sold on authorizes stores at the mall.
2) On Jan. 30, 2017, this unit (CIIS-ID) was placed on alert status by the office of the Director CIIS saying that a LOA was signed with the corresponding Mission Order by the Commissioner of Customs. At around 10:00am, agent of the NBI arrived at the CIIS office carrying a copy of the LOA and Mission Order signed by the Commissioner.
3) At this juncture, personnel of the CIIS-ID and NBI started the operational briefing at the CIIS conference room and asked the NBI asset to brief the operatives on the set up of the subject warehouse/store.
4) After the briefing, a team was sent to coordinate with MPD, Manila City Hall and the Barangay that has jurisdiction over the area while the other team proceeded to the area. At around 11:00am the strike team arrived at the location and parked at Jollibee in front of the subject building and wait for the go signal of the coordinating team.
5) At around 12:00 noon, the Barangay Official arrived at the site so the operatives proceeded to the subject building and approached the security personnel and introduced ourselves as BOC and NBI agents. The security personnel informed the operatives that the owner of the establishment is just upstairs. Upon hearing this, the agents decided to proceed upstairs and talk to the owner together with the Barangay representative Kagawad Ronnie Zapico. On the way up, the agents saw an enclosure that is locked and manned by another security personnel who at first objected to the operatives entry on the premises. Agents explained to the security personnel of their purpose and should allow is entry and that we are carrying a lawful order and that his refusal would mean an obstruction of Justice. he later responded to our request and opened the enclosure.
6) Before entry at the main door, the operatives were confronted by a certain Francis Lato asking what’s the purpose of our visit? At this point, OIC Pinawin introduced the team and handed over a copy of the LOA signed by the Commissioner of Customs and stated that we are there to implement the Visitorial Power of the Commissioner of Customs and conduct inspection of the goods that are being sold in their stores.
It was further explained to Mr. Lato that there are derogatory information that the goods being sold there did not pay the correct duties and taxes. It was also explained that members of the NBI and BOC conducted test buy of their products and found that the discrepancy in the price is considerably high at Kim’s store compared to the prices of the gadgets sold at the malls.
7) Agents at this point initiated inspection proceedings, while a team member was designated to record the conduct of inspection to ensure that what was being done is documented and within the bounds of the law. In the course of the inspection, agents noticed that there were several employees with individual computers located at the 3rd floor of the building, when asked as to what they were doing they said they were call center agents entertaining clients of Kim’s store. A number of boxes were found at the ground floor and the second floor containing various gadgets and accessories. In one room at the third floor, the agents found gadgets such as, iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S7, Mac book Pro, MacBook, Canon camera, Go Pro with sticks, Huawei Y5II, iPad Air and other accessories.
8) Agents noticed that there is another enclosure leading to the 4th floor but when asked if we can go and inspect the same, Ms. Lato lamented that it is their residence and her sick grandmother is currently occupying the said floor. Ms. Lato ask OIC Pinawin if it’s possible for the agents not to go upstairs considering that his grandmother has hypertension and might panic if she sees the operatives. OIC Pinawin readily heeded the request of the younger Lato and just proceeded with the inspection (together with NBI agents and Barangay Officials0 of the floors.
9) After the inspection the operatives asked Mr. Francis Lato if they have import documents on the gadgets stored in their warehouse, of any proof of payment of duties or taxes that they have with them. Mr. Lato said they already called their Customs Broker and that he is on his way with the import documents.
10) At this juncture, CIIS operatives explained to Mr. Lato, that while Customs await for the presentation of import documents, we will have to place the 3rd floor under customs custody and will put a seal on its ingress and egress for fifteen (15) days until such time they produce the necessary import documents. Mr. Lato understood the order and spoke with his children and staff to prepare to vacate the premises and to bring with them their personal belongings and other important stuff.
11) Further, OIC Pinawin (CIIS) and Deputy Ex-O Martini (NBI) explained that both units have to get samples of the item/s found thereat considering that both agency has Intellectual Property Unit that conducts validation of goods suspected to have been counterfeit or fake. Said samples are to be given to their respective brand owners for validation purposes, such request was readily accepted by Mr. Lato and asked one of his employees to give the requesting party a sample of each product found inside the room. After the apportionment of samples, the inventory was signed by four individuals, OIC Pinawin (CIIS), Ex-O Atty. Matini (NBI), Ronnie Zapilon (Kagawad, Barangay) and Mr. Francis Lato (owner) so as to attest that such items was duly received by the government and shall be returned in the event that the owner produced the necessary import documents.
12) At around 2:30 in the afternoon, the agent asked Mr. Lato if the broker he was speaking earlier is on his way, he said he might not be able to come as he is in the process of collating all import documents and this would take some time. At this point, agents agreed to leave the premises and leave CIIS and NBI personnel to secure the premises while we wait for their compliance.
13) CIIS and NBI personnel are now guarding the premises of 558 Lakandula (Kim’s store) on a 24 hour basis while waiting for the compliance from the owner.
14) Attached are photocopies of the items and goods found inside Kim’s Gadgettron Store and copies of coordination form obtained in the course of operation.
Signed: IOI Oliver A. Valiente (Assistant Team Leader)
Noted: IOI Joel C. Pinawin (Team Leader)
Here’s the full meaning of the acronyms used above:
LOA – Letter of Authority
CIIS – Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service
ID – Intelligence Division
OIC – Officer-in-Charge
MPD – Manila Police District