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NBI shuts down ukay-ukay in Mandaue, Chinese owners on the run

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram, Paul Lauro - CDN Digital | June 10,2024 - 02:24 PM

NBI shuts down ukay-ukay in Mandaue, Chinese owners on the run

An agent in disguise from NBI-Cebdo (face blurred) checks the bales of ukay-ukay clothes they confiscated during an operation in Mandaue City on June 6, 2024 | Contributed photo via Paul Lauro

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Law enforcers from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are looking for two Chinese nationals accused of selling smuggled, second-hand clothes or ukay-ukay (thrift store in English) online.

The Cebu District Office (Cebdo) of NBI also raided and shut down an ukay-ukay shop, with their base of operations located in a warehouse in Brgy. Tawason, Mandaue City, on June 6 that led to the arrest of a woman.

READ: Customs seize undeclared ‘ukay-ukay’ in Cebu port

In a report obtained by CDN Digital on Monday, June 10, NBI-Cebdo agent-in-charge Arnel Pura said they received complaints from local clothing stores, alleging that an ukay-ukay has been operating illegally online.

The shop’s name was LXZ Cebu Ukay Ukay, which sold bundles of used clothings via social media, Pura said. After weeks of doing a case build-up, agents also located the establishment’s warehouse in Brgy. Tawason, Mandaue City.

READ: Ukay-ukay worth P400K seized in container vans in Mandaue warehouse

On May 29, they conducted a ‘test-buy’ to gather more information.

Based on the two bales of men’s shirts and women’s trousers they purchased during the test-buy, they found out that the clothes have been smuggled into the country from China and Korea.

READ: P4.4M ‘ukay-ukay’ seized in Cebu port

This prompted them to implement a raid through another test-buy last June 6 wherein they bought 12 bales of used clothing worth P35,100.

The operation also led them to arrest a certain Audrey Pepino, one of the shop’s custodians and who delivered the bales to the agents under cover. She is currently under custody of NBI-Cebdo.

Meanwhile, Pura said they identified the owners of the ukay-ukay store as Chinese nationals Stephen So and Junya Tan.

Both So and Tan remain at large while NBI-Cebdo conducts further investigation into the incident.

The suspects may face cases for violating Republic Act No. 4653, the law that prohibits the commercial importing and selling of used clothes in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175).

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TAGS: Cebu, cebu news, mandaue, ukay-ukay

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