Chinese police raid cigarette counterfeiters, arresting 78

BEIJING (Xinhua) — Chinese police have broken up 122 criminal dens and arrested 78 suspects in a cross-provincial raid on a cigarette counterfeiting ring, the Ministry of Public Security said Monday.
About 80,000 cartons of bogus cigarettes and 10,000 units of counterfeit logos and cigarette cases were confiscated, according to a statement.
Police also seized four pieces of manufacturing equipment and 25 vehicles used in the operation, the statement said.
The raid involved more than 1,500 officers from nine provincial areas, and a well-knit underground network for cigarette counterfeiting and distribution, it added.
Under the illegal activity, bogus cigarettes were usually produced and stored in city outskirts and disguised as normal goods for delivery, with fake cargo and ownership details.
Most transactions were done on the Internet or face to face, which was hard to trace, the statement said.
The ring constituted a closely linked chain of counterfeiting groups who would coordinate on production in order to meet orders, it said.
They counterfeited both high-end cigarettes and ordinary brands.
Due to their poor quality, fake cigarettes not only harm the tobacco industry but also people’s health. The police will continue mobilizing  resources nationwide to crack down on counterfeiters, the ministry said.
The recent move on cigarette counterfeiters is part of a high-profile national campaign that started last November to crack down on the violation of intellectual property rights and the production and distribution of fraudulent products.

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