Monthly Archives: March 2014

Three cigarette smuggling cases emerge in court


By Joe Beck

WOODSTOCK — Hearings in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Thursday on three cases involving defendants facing a long list of charges linked to cigarette smuggling shed new light on an extensive investigation mounted by the county Sheriff’s Office against illicit cigarette sales.

The charges against John Charles Taveras and Thaer Nimer Khashman, both of New York City, and Harvey Saul Luna, of Elizabeth, N.J., include selling more than 3,000 cigarette packages without a tax stamp and money laundering. Taveras and Khashman are also charged with several counts of racketeering.

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Syrian children exploited in sale of smuggled cigarettes in Turkey

From: Hurriyet Daily News

Sevil Erkuş

Syrian children, who have taken refuge in Turkey after fleeing their home country, are being exploited for the sale of bootlegged cigarettes in southeastern Turkey, a destination full of cigarettes smuggled in from Iraq, Iran and recently from Syria.

Walking around in the main square of the Kızıltepe district of Mardin, one
witnesses countless peddlers, mostly Syrian children who are not fluent in Turkish but communicate with locals in Arabic. When we tried to communicate with the children, some other children approached and told us they were not able to speak Turkish.

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Up in smoke


The government has lost as much as €730,000 in missing tax revenues in the last 15 months from the contraband cigarette and tobacco trade, according to data released by the Customs and Excise Department.

Based on the figures, from January 1, 2013 to March 24, 2014 customs investigated 1, 694 cases involving trading and smuggling of contraband cigarettes and tobacco products.

During the investigations customs officials seized and destroyed 1,561,673 cigarettes of various brands, 3,613kg of tobacco and 756 cigars or cigarillos.

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‘Pressure’ to sell illegal cigarettes

From: Oldham Evening Chronicle

A SHOPKEEPER sold counterfeit and illegally-packaged cigarettes and
tobacco because he felt under threat by suppliers and rivals, Oldham
Magistrates heard yesterday.

Rana Mohammed Akram (56) of the RMA Newsagent’s in Coleridge Road,
Oldham, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing cigarettes,
tobacco and pipe products without health warnings for supply, and two
charges of possessing counterfeit Golden Virginia and Amber Leaf
hand-rolling tobacco for sale.

The court heard a rival shop, a Polish contact and illegal Liverpool
dealers operating in Oldham were all factors in his offending.

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Service stations join battle against plain cigarette packages

From: Telegraph & Argus

Pressure on the Government to drop plans for plain packaging of tobacco products has increased as a new survey today shows that most of the region’s petrol forecourt retailers fear it would hit their trade – and betray the Government’s pledge to help small businesses.

The new poll also underlines warnings that banning branded packets would boost the trade in counterfeit cigarettes issued by the UK packaging industry and backed by two Bradford firms.

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