9 indicted on cigarette smuggling charges

From: Journal Sentinal (Milwaukee, WI)

By Mark Johnson

Nine people have been indicted on charges of engaging in a scheme to transport large quantities of unstamped cigarettes, evading $1 million to $4.6 million in state and local taxes, James L. Santelle, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced.

According to the indictment, individuals charged possessed and transported anywhere from one to 182 cases, or from 12,000 to over 2 million cigarettes.

Eight of the nine defendants are from Illinois.

The one Wisconsin resident is Mohammed Mazharuddin, 40, of Oak Creek, who is charged with conspiracy and contraband cigarette trafficking.

The others charged are: Mohammad Uddin, 29, of Naperville; Maher T. Sunnokrot, 39, of Worth; Farrukh Aslam, 27, of Glendale Heights; Shakil Wamiq, 31, of Elgin; Mazher Ali Khan, 48, of Evergreen Park; Haroon H. Bheri, 52, of Glendale Heights; Adil Majid, 53, of Bolingbrook; and Ahsan Uddin, 27, of Naperville.

Each is charged with conspiracy and one to 21 counts of contraband cigarette trafficking.

Each conspiracy and contraband cigarette trafficking offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Two also are charged with having counterfeit tax stamps, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The indictments followed an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


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