Monthly Archives: August 2017

Temporary Block on San Francisco’s Menthol Ban. Is a Referendum Next?

From: Convenience Store News

Grassroots Coalition Blocks San Francisco Menthol Ban

Board of Supervisors must now make one of three decisions.

By Melissa Kress


Pointing to the city’s Office of Economic Analysis report, Rojas Jr. noted the economic impact could be even greater than the estimated $50 million when you factor in the loss of payroll tax and property tax, as well as possible small-business jobs.

Next Steps

In early August, the San Francisco Department of Elections validated the signatures collected by Let’s Be Real San Francisco, setting up a possible showdown on the election stage.

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Cheers to U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations & Its Law Enforcement Partners for Stopping Importation of Indian-Made Counterfeit Newport Cigarettes!

From: Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida via FDA

Two Charged In Federal Court with Smuggling Counterfeit Cigarettes

Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Justin D. Green, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI), Miami Field Office; Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office; and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO), announced that Abhishek Shukla and Harish Shabhai Panchal, both citizens of India, appeared in Federal District Court in Miami today to be formally arraigned on an indictment charging them and two companies, Jubilee Tobacco Industries Corp., and Pelican Tobacco (India) Private Limited, both incorporated under the laws of India, with conspiring to smuggle counterfeit cigarettes into the United States.

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Discount Tobacconists Can Be Very Dangerous

From: New South Wales Police Force
A high-ranking member of the Rebels OMCG has been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged organised drug supply syndicates operating in NSW.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad established Strike Force Kindra in December 2016 to investigate reports of an extortion involving members of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG).


On Tuesday 8 August 2017, strike force investigators arrested five men – aged between 26 and 59 – who were charged with various offences related to the alleged importation of illegal tobacco and counterfeit cigarettes. They also remain before the courts.

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US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Upholds Tribal Sovereign Immunity in Cigarette Tax Case

Editor’s Note: The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s Opinion in QUINAULT INDIAN NATION [No. 15-35263 and No. 15-35267; D.C. No. 3:10-cv-05345-BHS] is available here. Below is an excerpt.

     Once again, the issue of tribal sovereign immunity and cigarette taxes is back in the federal courts. In this iteration, the Quinault Indian Nation (the “Nation”) sued Edward A. Comenout, Jr.; Robert R. Comenout, Sr.; and other defendants for engaging in a scheme to defraud the Nation of taxes. When the Nation later asked the district court to dismiss its action, Edward’s estate (the “Estate”) sought to keep the litigation alive, asserting that maintaining the suit was necessary to litigate its counterclaims against the Nation.

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Another Day, Another Ton of Contraband Tobacco Seized in Canada

From: The Sherbrooke Times

Two Quebecers have recently been arrested in Ontario in possession of more than a ton of contraband tobacco.

Danny Guindon, 23, of Blainville, and Pascal Caron, 25, of Sainte-Thérèse, have been pinned on July 21, by police officers patrolling in the area of South Glengarry, near Cornwall.

Investigators reportedly first observed suspicious activity along the shores of the St. Lawrence river, and were later intercepted a white van on the edge of which were Guindon and Caron.

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