Arrest of Manuel Charlín, 85, reveals resilience of Galicia’s cocaine clans
Released in 2010 after 20 years in prison, the trafficker made a return to notoriety last week
In the 1960s, the smugglers scaled up again, this time into tobacco, initially via Portugal before they cut out the middleman and bought directly from the American tobacco giants.
Tobacco made them millionaires, and soon there was more lucrative work in the rías smuggling tobacco than there was in fisheries. The tobacco was brought in large ships that were unloaded out of sight in the high seas and then brought ashore in launches and fishing boats, a modus operandi that foreshadowed the trade in narcotics.
Evidence of the offences was obtained via a series of undercover mystery shopping operations conducted outside a car boot sale held at Coles Park Stadium, London, N17. Eight illegal products, all 50g packs of roll-your-own tobacco, were purchased during the investigation.
A spokesman for JTI said: “We welcome the decision made by the court in this case. This is the second successful private prosecution supported by JTI against a criminal selling illegal tobacco, which demonstrates the company’s commitment to help tackle the problem of illegal tobacco and we will not hesitate to take similar action in future.”
Illegally produced local cigarettes pose a potential threat to the success the government has made in last few years by increasing the price of cigarettes with an aim to controlling the consumption of tobacco products. A market investigation revealed three types of illegal cigarettes – smuggled cigarettes from abroad, products faking local popular brands and locally produced cigarettes evading taxation. Thanks to the promptness of tax department and administration, the issue of smuggled cigarettes often made headlines. But remote and underdeveloped regions are home to the biggest market of locally produced and tax evading cigarettes. That’s why they hardly come under the surveillance of the law enforcers and government monitoring systems. These cigarettes are marked with fake or reused bandroll or tax stamp. This type is gaining popularity in every corner of the country due to its cheap price and lack of surveillance.
Armenian faction of Vory v Zakone gang targeted in Spain
Group allegedly smuggled tobacco, fixed sports bets in Russia
Spanish police said they captured seven key members of the Armenian faction of a Russian organized crime group described as Europe’s most dangerous gang.
The group operated a network to smuggle contraband tobacco produced in Ukraine and Poland and distributed in France, Italy and Spain, police said. They were also involved in bribing basketball, beach volleyball, ice hockey and minor league tennis players in Azerbaijan and Russia to fix the outcome of matches, according to a Spanish police statement.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced the center’s first success on Monday when two men were charged with running Florida’s biggest stolen cigarette ring.
The center is where authorities first noticed a trend in robberies and burglaries of large quantities of cigarettes across their cities and counties. They began to compare surveillance images and tips in order to catch the culprits.
Illegal trafficking in cigarettes generates significant profits for criminal organizations and poses a public health risk. Counterfeit cigarettes not only affect trademark owners, but defraud consumers and deprive the government of tax revenue. Consumers think they pay less for a genuine product, when in reality they pay less for a product of substandard quality.
“International counterfeiters will get caught,” said Agriculture and Prepared Products Center Director Dina M. Amato. “This seizure is the latest example of the extraordinary vigilance of CBP personnel with federal partners in Florida thwarting illegal trafficking of counterfeit cigarettes.”
The officials of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board during an inspection of a truck at the port of Paldiski found 4.5 million contraband cigarettes from the vehicle’s load, reports LETA/BNS.
Siim Rudissaar, head of service at the investigative department of the Tax and Customs Board, said that the truck had a Lithuanian license plate and a trailer and arrived to Estonia on February 10 through the Ikla border crossing point and on the same day headed to Paldiski to board a ship to Sweden, spokespeople for the Tax and Customs Board said.
Abhishek Shukla and Harish Shabhai Panchal, both citizens of India, entered guilty pleas, along with the India-based company, Jubilee Tobacco Industries Corp., to conspiring to smuggle counterfeit cigarettes into the United States.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Peter H. Kuehl, Acting 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), made the announcement.