Manila Times/Manila

An estimated P1bn worth of fake designer apparel and bags were seized by authorities headed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in Manila on Friday.
Assorted counterfeit luxury bags bearing the trademarks of famous brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, Burberry, Michael Kors and Tory Burch, among others were found inside eight stockrooms during the raid at the HSCT building along Alvarado Street in Binondo.
“This significant amount of designer knock-offs will put a dent in the stocks of traders and sellers of these items. The sale of counterfeit products is destructive to legitimate business and puts at risk thousands of jobs,” said Customs Commissioner John Sevilla in a statement.
Authorities said the items were “Class AAA” designer apparel and accessories such as bags are being passed-off as genuine merchandise.
Follow-up investigation is now ongoing as well as inventory of all the seized goods.
The raids were covered by the visitorial powers as well as Warrants of Seizure and Detention of the BOC. By law, counterfeit goods are subject to forfeiture and subsequent destruction by the government.
Aside from the BOC, the combined forces behind the apprehension of the counterfeit items were the Intellectual Property Office, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
Sevilla has urged the public to be vigilant against this illegal activity and not to patronise fake products. “We urge the brand owners to remain vigilant and file cases in courts to make these unscrupulous traders answerable to intellectual property rights violation. We also urge our consumers not to patronise these items,” he added.
Last week, authorities seized over P500mn worth of counterfeit and smuggled goods during a raid in various areas in Manila.
Over eight warehouses along Rivera Street in Tondo and Barraca and La Torre Streets in Binondo were raided by the joint operatives.

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