Customs raids Binondo store selling overpriced alcohol, PPE

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has raided a store in Binondo which was selling overpriced alcohol and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The bureau’s Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) conducted the raid with police and the Philippine Coast Guard  at on Thursday morning, March 26.

A total of P5 million worth of goods was seized during the raid where the BOC  team was accompanied by the building administrator and store personnel.

The owners were not at the store.  

The BOC said the store sold the items online and charged nearly 4 times the suggested retail price amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The seized items include face masks, gloves, goggles, alcohol, and thermal scanners – which have been sold at higher prices since the coronavirus outbreak began –  as well as test tubes and syringes.

The BOC said the owners have 15 days to present importation documents to prove that the seized items were legally procured. If not, they will face smuggling charges.

On March 12, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) imposed a nationwide price freeze on basic necessities amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. – Rappler.com