On Jan 18, 2016, public prosecutors told the court that PMTL made 272 false declarations on the prices of Marlboro and L&M cigarettes it imported from the Philippines from July 28, 2003 to June 24, 2016.
The declarations did not reflect the actual prices of the products and were intended to evade paying the full duty. The actual prices plus the avoided duty were estimated at B20.21 billion.
Prosecutors said the company declared a value of B5.88 for a packet of L&M cigarettes, while other cigarette importers declared B16.81 per packet.
PMTL also declared the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) rate on Marlboro cigarettes from the Philippines at B7.76 a packet, lower than the B27.46 reported by other importers.
While convicting and fining the company in its ruling delivered on Friday, the court acquitted its local employees, finding that they had nothing to do with the price declarations, which were prepared in the United States.
PMTL Managing Director Gerald Margolis said the company would appeal.
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