Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Computer firm caught illegally selling units in sting operation

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — Authorities on Wednesday charged a computer company here for violation of Republic Act 9239 or the Optical Media Act of 2003 after two of its employees were caught illegally selling some P404,000 worth of laptops and monitors in a sting operation here.

A report from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s Law Enforcement Department (SBMA-LED) identified the company as ECR World Technology (PH) Inc., which is located at the Subic Bay Gateway Park.

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Zhonghua Yuan, a Chinese national identified as quality control manager of the company, was held for questioning following the entrapment.

According to SBMA-LED Officer in Charge Gerardo Johnson, the Optical Media Board’s Enforcement and Investigation Division (OMB-EID) staged the operation here at 3:30 p.m. on Feb.24, wherein an OMB intelligence officer was able to purchase computer units from two ECR employees at a nearby gasoline station.

Used laptops like those sold to OMB agents were found at the ECR manufacturing facility at the Subic Bay Gateway Park

Seized from the ECR employees were 65 pieces of brand-new monitors valued at P1,600 each and 75 pieces of used laptops valued at P4,000 each.

Johnson said investigation revealed that the company was selling laptops and monitors through the facebook account of one of the employees caught in the set-up.

Following the entrapment, the OMB coordinated a joint inspection of the ECR factory along with the SBMA-LED and the SBMA Intelligence and Investigation Office (SBMA-IIO) to take into preventive custody any unlawful optical or magnetic media and related items.

The notice of inspection was served to Yuan, who also served as officer in charge of the company.

According to the firm’s Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption (CRTE), ECR World Technology (PH) Inc. is engaged in the assembly and manufacturing of electronic equipment such as LCD/LED television sets, desktop computers and peripherals, laptops, DVD players, electronic games, printers and other related electronic goods for import, export and eventual local and international trading.

During the inspection, however, it was found out that the firm had no OMB license and official receipt that would allow it to sell computer monitors and laptops.

Section 13 of RA 9239 or the Optical Media Act of 2003 required those engaged in the importation, exportation, acquisition, sale or distribution of optical media to register with and secure appropriate licenses from the OMB prior to engaging in said business activities.

Johnson said the OMB team confiscated the items sold during the entrapment, but took no other item from the ECR factory. The OMB also advised the firm to secure an OMB license, he added.

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