Filipinos Seize Counterfeit Oils

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Operatives from the Philippines Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group and the Northern Police District Office confiscated about P50 million (U.S. $1 million) of substandard automotive and industrial lubricants after a raid of two warehouses Dec. 3, according to a report by the countrys state-run news wire service.

The anti-smuggling group said the raided warehouses in Malabon, Philippines, belonged to a company known as Planet Lubricant/Tribology/Lub Mart, owned by Patrick Chua, according to the Dec. 3 report by the Philippine News Agency.

Officials began investigating Chua after lubricant dealers complained that imported motor oil – branded as Unikema and Motorex – acquired from his business caused the engines of the dealers customers to malfunction or overheat. Government operatives who investigated the property recovered hundreds of drums of counterfeit oils.

PASG head Undersecretary Antonio Bebot Villar Jr. said that Chua had been raking in huge profits through illegal importation and switching of original product to sub-standard and mislabeled ones, according to the news agency.

This is an outright sabotage of the Consumers Act of the Philippines that leaves wholesalers, retailers and consumers at Chuas mercy, Villar said in a statement. He [Chua] deserves to be punished. Villar said he has ordered a check of various wholesalers and retailers of Chuas products in metro Manila so they can help in the eventual prosecution of the businessman.

Formed in May 2007, PASG investigates and prosecutes smuggling, unlawful importation and other violations, particularly of the tariff and customs code of the Philippines.

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