Monthly Archives: July 2011

Chinese Counterfeiters Graduate From Tax Stamps to Driver’s Liceneses

Editor’s Note: CRE’s Counterfeit Cigarette IPD has repeatedly discussed the dangers posed by counterfeiters from China and other countries producing high quality counterfeit tax stamps, packaging and other materials that allow them to pass off bogus cigarettes as legitimate products.  The attached article from the front page of The Washington Post reports that Chinese counterfeiters are now producing very high quality driver’s licenses.  These forged documents are being used by underage Americans to gain access to alcohol, sometimes with fatal consequences.

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“20 tonnes of tobacco has been seized”

From: ABC News (Australia)

Illegal tobacco seized in ATO raids

An estimated 20 tonnes of tobacco has been seized after a series of raids on greenhouses in Sydney’s west.

The seizures come as the tobacco industry warns the Government’s plain packaging laws and high excise taxes will lead to a growth in the black market – a claim rejected by public health experts.

Australia’s commercial tobacco-growing industry shut down in 2006, but Australian Tax Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston says there are a few people in Sydney’s west who appear intent on growing their own and selling it.

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China seizes 1.97 bln counterfeit cigarettes in H1


China seized 1.97 billion counterfeit cigarettes nationwide in the first half of this year, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration said Friday.

Authorities clamped down on 232 counterfeiting networks in the first six months, the administration said. Law enforcement agencies rounded up 4,110 people suspected of producing and selling counterfeit cigarettes and prosecuted 1,849 of them, it said.

Authorities solved 2,203 counterfeit cases in the period, with each case involving products valued at more than 50,000 yuan (7,767 U.S. dollars), the administration added.

The administration said the country seized 5.7 billion counterfeit cigarettes last year.

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Protecting Trademarks: Crucial to Fighting Counterfeit Tobacco

Editor’s Note:  Protection of trademarks is an essential component of the national and global effort against counterfeit tobaco and tobacco-related products.  In the letter attached below, National Tobacco Company informs Congress that a long-standing and distinguished trademark, ZIG-ZAG®, is under assault from counterfeiters and gray market (unauthorized) imports.

The letter to Congress explains that counterfeiting of ZIG-ZAG® products has been used to finance a foreign terrorist organization and the counterfeiters’ close links to criminal activities was revealed by the federal government’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.  National Tobacco’s letter further demonstrates that the counterfeiting and unauthorized importation of trademark tobacco products is a danger to all Americans.

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£3 million Chinese smuggling operation bust, over 11 million counterfeit cigarettes seized by custom officers

From: Institute of International Trade

Imported from China, the ultimate destination was the black market outlets in UK. But unfortunately, the destination was never reached.

Around 11.3 million counterfeit cigarettes were seized midway by the custom duty officials, with a £3 million smuggling operation by a Chinese gang going bust. Supposedly, this was the biggest smuggling captures in the North East.

Most of these counterfeit cigarettes were of the Super-king and Regal brands, two of the most popular brands in the whole of United Kingdom. A special taskforce found the counterfeit cigarettes in a filthy warehouse on the riverbanks of Tyne in Gateshead, Newcastle. The main thing that gave it away was the similar serial number on all the cigarette packaging boxes.

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