Flava Vape Brand Implicated In Smuggling Bust Again

flava vape smuggling case

The controversial vape brand Flava finds itself in hot water once again as the House Committee on Ways and Means investigates its alleged involvement in smuggling activities. This development comes on the heels of the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) recent raids, which uncovered a staggering ₱3.72 billion(about $66.4 million US dollars) worth of smuggled electronic cigarettes in the cities of Malabon and Parañaque.

According to House Committee Chairman and Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda, the presence of Flava-branded e-cigarettes in at least one of the three BOC raids “implicated [the company] anew” in the ongoing tax evasion probe. “I congratulate Commissioner Rubio and his team for the big-time catches,” Salceda stated, adding that “the Flava brand of vapes, already the subject of the Committee’s investigation for ₱1.4 billion in evaded taxes, is once again involved.”

The BOC’s raid on a warehouse in San Dionisio, Parañaque City, yielded approximately 1.5 million pieces of Flava-branded e-cigarettes in various flavors, with an estimated value of ₱1.53 billion, including excise taxes. Salceda emphasized that this discovery likely “strengthens the case” against Flava Corporation, which the committee wants to see shuttered.

The tax committee has already concluded its investigation into Flava Corporation and submitted a draft report to the House leadership. The report recommends the cessation of Flava Corporation’s business operations and further investigation into potential money laundering and other acts of smuggling.

Salceda also issued a stern warning to online selling platforms, cautioning that selling smuggled goods could subject them to smuggling charges. “Lazada and Shopee, and other online selling platforms, should take appropriate action now. They carry immense risks that are not worth the legal trouble if they insist on carrying potentially smuggled goods,” he advised.

The BOC’s findings suggest that Flava Corporation lacks the capacity to manufacture vapes and has no registered imported brands with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Salceda pointed out that “one and one together makes a strong case” and extended a “fair warning to online selling platforms and distributors, as well as to logistics providers,” emphasizing that “selling and transporting smuggled goods falls under the definition of smuggling, just as much as bringing the goods in.”

As the investigation continues, the spotlight remains on Flava Corporation and its alleged involvement in the illicit trade of electronic cigarettes. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the vaping industry in the Philippines and serve as a reminder of the importance of compliance with customs regulations and tax obligations.

News source: https://mb.com.ph/2024/3/2/salceda-vape-brand-flava-implicated-anew-following-boc-s-big-time-raids-1

Matthew Ma