THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raided two warehouses and the Binondo outlet of a Cavite-based multi-million online business and confiscated some P5.9 million worth of unregistered beauty and health products allegedly smuggled from Thailand.
FDA Regulatory Enforcement Unit chief ret. Gen. Allen Bantolo, and members of the PNP CIDG Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crime Division (AFCCD), arrested Zynor Gacusan, owner of on-line products; his sister and assistant Fea Shane Feniza; and caretaker Chris Ramirez, in the raid on two warehouses in Bayan Luma, Imus, Cavite.
Bantolo said a search warrant was issued by Judge Agripino Morga, of San Pablo City RTC , for violation of RA 3720 as amended by RA 9711 or the FDA Law of 2009.
The raid was the result of a three-month surveillance and online test-buys, according to Bantolo.
“Aside from selling smuggled and unregistered or banned beauty, slimming and whitening health products online, the syndicate deprives the government of taxes and fees due them and faces no accountability if these products cause ill-effects to the consumers,” he pointed out.
FDA director general Nela Charade G. Puno has issued a public advisory in October 2017 against the use of Goree products due to their high mercury content that can cause kidney damage, skin damage, skin discoloration and scarring.
The FDA said there were reports of customers who burned their skin or had allergies while using Goree products.
“However, online syndicates continue to smuggle and sold them locally, leaving the consumers vulnerable, especially when they have complaints about the products,” Puno said.
“May mga naging biktima na ang Goree at nag-file na ng criminal cases. Despite the issuance of public advisory and seizure orders from FDA, they (syndicate) keep on selling them in the local market at clandestine pa kaya hindi mo ma-detect at mahirap i-monitor,” Bantolo added.
The warehouse on Margelo St., Carmella Homes yielded hundreds of unregistered health and beauty products worth at least P2.36 million while the second warehouse at No. 2 Block 1, Lot 13, Teelane 11, Phase C, contained some P3.55 million worth of similar products.
The unregistered products were packed in boxes bearing brands such as as Little Black Coffee, Lida, Dr. Tea Paragis, Detoxi, Slim Fast, Profile Atlas, Lishou Slimming Coffee, Max Slim, Ishou Slimming Caps, Gluta Prime, Supreme Gluta, Pretty Doomz Plus, Maxi Doomz, Aloe Vera 99 Hair Shampoo, Hair Thick, ESI Kojic Soap, Sunblock Cream, ESI Rejuvenating Cream, Goree soap, Goree Hydrating Lotion, and Bentonite Clay Mask.