More than 40,000 illicit cigarettes and nearly 5kg of rolling tobacco have been seized in a sting operation by Waltham Forest Council and HMRC. On first inspection of the 98p Plus Extra shop in Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, officers confiscated more than 11,000 cigarettes and 1.68kg of rolling tobacco which violated UK legal requirements for labelling and packaging tobacco products. During a later inspection, Waltham Forest Trading Standards discovered another 30,020 illicit cigarettes and 3.65kg of foreign rolling tobacco that violated tobacco products regulations. On June 13, Mr Salim Ahmed, director of Bismillah London Ltd, the company owning the shop, pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates court to ten charges brought by Waltham Forest Trading Standards for the sale of illicit tobacco products. Mr Ahmed previously stated he received the tobacco from an unknown eastern European man who persuaded him to sell it to boost his profit margins and he said he had not inspected the cigarettes purchased.Lear More
Customs officials seize US$61,450 worth of counterfeit goods on truck entering Hong Kong from mainland China.
Hong Kong’s customs officers have seized about 2,000 suspected counterfeit items, ranging from shoes and watches to sunglasses, worth about HK$480,000 (US$61,450). The Customs and Excise Department said in a statement on Tuesday that its officers intercepted a truck coming into Hong Kong from the mainland at the Man Kam To Control Point last Thursday. The contraband was found in the truck’s cargo compartment. The driver, a 58-year-old man, was arrested. “The investigation is ongoing and the arrested man has been released on bail pending further inquiries,” the department said. In Hong Kong, importing or exporting counterfeit items is a violation of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The maximum penalty is a fine of HK$500,000 and five years in prison. Counterfeit items are a common sight in shops and street market stalls across the city, particularly in tourist hotspots such as Temple Street.Lear More
KUANTAN: The Pahang Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) foiled an attempt to smuggle 2,000 cartons of cigarettes worth RM300,000 including taxes in water off Kuala Rompin near here, last Friday. Pahang MMEA deputy director (operations) Capt V. Pannir Selvan said the Force 10– and Double 7– branded cigarettes were believed to have been abandoned at Pantai Batu 7, Kuala Rompin by two male suspects upon realising the presence of the authorities. He said the 11.30pm raid was carried out following six months of intelligence–gathering as well as tip–offs from the public. “Two men on a fiberglass boat were believed to be transferring the smuggled cigarettes into a lorry waiting at the roadside, but as soon as they realised the MMEA’s presence, the two men sped off in the boat. The MMEA boat pursued them, but could not catch up.Lear More
MUMBAI: Directorate Revenue of Intelligence (DRI), probing the 110kg gold smuggling case, involving businessmen from Mumbai and Kerala, revealed that the gang smuggled more than 3,000kg of gold worth Rs 1,000 crore in eight months. A DRI official said the accused smuggled gold in 24 consignments from July last year to March this year, when the racket was busted and 14 persons were arrested. “During scrutiny, it transpired that the syndicate smuggled 3,396kg gold, which is one of the biggest seizures in recent years. Hence, the accused were detained under stringent sections of Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Act (COFEPOSA),” said a source. As Bombay high court said COFEPOSA was not applicable on technical grounds last week, DRI will move the Supreme Court on Monday. Officials said if the accused are released, they may smuggle gold again.
DRI has so far confiscated nine cars, Rs 2 crore, and 185kg gold worth Rs 60 crore. They will confiscate properties of the main players, Dubai businessman Nisar Aliyar, jeweller ‘Happy Dhakkad’, Manoj Jain, financier Ashfaq Shiningwala, hawala operator Aquil Fruitwala and Shoeb Zoradarwala. DRI is also writing to Enforcement Directorate as the accused have diverted proceeds of the crime to accounts outside the country too.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has busted a “corporate type smuggling” racket and arrested a mastermind and his relative who were involved in many cases with the seizure of about 360 kg of gold worth over Rs 108 crore in the past five years, an official said on Wednesday. Taking a cue from the seizure of 8 kg gold, about 74 kg of silver jewellery and 3 kg of ganja with a cumulative value of Rs 3.31 crore from a bus plying from Siliguri to Kolkata, the DRI sleuths arrested the “uncle-nephew duo” who were instrumental in successfully ferrying huge quantity of smuggled gold from various bordering locations. “Four persons were arrested in the seizure of gold, silver and narcotics. Further investigations led to the apprehension of two more persons, including the mastermind and his relative, who were behind a series of cases in which about 360 kg gold valued at more than Rs 108 crore have been seized over the past five years,” a DRI official said.Lear More
MUMBAI: Ashfaq Shiningwala (54), a key financier from Gujarat in a syndicate that smuggled 185kg gold worth Rs 60 crore, was arrested by Directorate Revenue of Intelligence (DRI). The Surat resident is the 14th person to be arrested in one of the biggest international smuggling rackets that DRI busted in March.
DRI had seized 110kg gold concealed in brass, imported from Dubai, but declared as scrap. The accused imported the gold, declaring it as scrap at Mundra and Jamnagar ports in Gujarat, and then got it here by road. DRI later seized another 75kg gold hidden inside a Honda car of Shoeb Zordarwala. The probe suggested that the accused in last two years had smuggled around 300kg gold. DRI had initially arrested seven persons, including Nisar Aliyar, the kingpin and proprietor of several companies in the US, Dubai and Kochi in Kerala. His accomplices were Shoeb, his son Ahad, Zaveri Bazaar jeweller Raju alias Monoj Jain, Kalpesh Nanda, an assistant of Aliyar, ‘Happy Dhakad’ and hawala operator Aquil Fruitwala. Also seized from the Zordarwalas’ residence was Rs 1.8 crore.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court in Vijayawada on Wednesday sentenced two persons to 10 years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 30,000 for possessing Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN).On March 31 last year, sleuths of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested two persons from Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express at Visakhapatnam Railway Station for possessing fake currency with a face value of Rs 10.2 lakhs in the denomination of Rs 2,000 notes. The two accused belongs to Mandya district of Karnataka and were identified as Mohammed Mahaboob Baig alias Azhar Baig and Syed Imran.Lear More
Fifteen members of a Russian speaking gang were arrested last week in France and Belgium on charges of “organized smuggling” and “criminal conspiracy” as part of an investigation into the illegal import and resale of cigarettes, Europol has announced. Eight of the suspects were imprisoned, while the others were placed under judicial control. Some 2 million cigarettes were seized. The criminal organisation, composed mainly of Armenians and Ukrainians, smuggled cigarettes, but also other banned products, from Belgium to Paris and the west of France. The cigarettes, manufactured in Ukraine and Poland, were bought for 15 euros a carton and then resold for 40 euros throughout Europe. The group, described by Europol, which coordinated the investigation, as ‘very prolific’ had made nearly 70 deliveries of contraband goods, worth some 4 million euros, since it came into operation in October 2018. One of the Ukrainian gang leaders was arrested on Tuesday in France driving a truck containing 500 cartons of cigarettes and 10,000 euros in cash. Ten others were arrested in the Île-de-France region and another in Nantes. All are from Ukraine, Armenia, Poland or AzerbaijanLear More
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Hundreds of counterfeit items have been seized at the Port of Caddo-Bossier. Over the last five months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized more than $200,000 in counterfeit and potentially dangerous products. The most recent seizure was a shipment of 120 fake Yeti tumblers, 210 counterfeit Kylie Jenner and Urban Decay makeup sets, and more than 2,200 counterfeit Otter Box and Apple phone cases. More than 320 fake Apple chargers and ear pods were also confiscated. “Counterfeit electronics, you could have poor quality power cords, the lights they could cause fires, shock hazards. Counterfeit makeup could do damage to one’s skin. A lot of times products, could have high levels of lead in them without individuals realizing it.” Jim Norris, the Port Director for the Shreveport U.S. Customs and Border Protection office adds that these fake products also hurt legitimate American businesses.Lear More
Customs and Navy agents seize 740 boxes of cigarettes – likely smuggled from Malaysia – in Zamboanga City last June 20, 2019. The contraband was loaded onto “MJ Farnaliza” and valued at P25 million. Photo courtesy of Bureau of Customs MANILA, Philippines — Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Philippine Navy operatives have intercepted a boat that was carrying smuggled tobacco products worth P25 million in Zamboanga City. The contraband loaded onto the boat named “MJ Farnaliza” likely came from Malaysia, according to authorities. BOC and Navy members seized the smuggled cigarettes last June 20. Authorities believe MJ Farnaliza came from Jolo province. Three crew members of the boat were also arrested during the operation, a source from BOC’s Intelligence and Investigation Service told INQUIRER.net on Monday. The source added that the crewmen, who claimed they were only hired to transport the 740 boxes of cigarettes to Zamboanga are currently placed under BOC’s custody as they undergo further investigation.Lear More