Was auf den Strassen Havannas versucht wird, findet – des Embargos wegen – erst recht in den USA statt: Fälschung von „kubanischen“ Zigarren. In Miami ist laut The Herald Today nach sechsmonatiger Polizeiarbeit eine Bande aufgeflogen, die in grossem Stil (für mehrere Millionen Dollar) minderwerteige Zigarren mittels gefälschter Bauchbinden und Verpackungen „aufgemotzt“ und vertrieben hat.
(Gefälschte Esplendidos; Bildquelle: Cigar Weekly, Galerie der Fälschungen)
Miami-Dade police arrest eight in counterfeit Cuban cigar ring
MIAMI – Police seized more than $100,000 worth of counterfeit Cuban cigars and packaging paraphernalia, and arrested eight people who allegedly took part in the scheme that likely raked in millions of dollars.
The operation, dubbed „Operation Smoke Ring,“ was the culmination of a six-month investigation, said Miami-Dade police said.
Inexpensive cigars were allegedly labeled and repackaged to look like handmade premium Cuban cigars and then sold locally and around the country. The sale of Cuban cigars is prohibited in the United States, police said.
Police said the raids on nine different locations including homes and businesses uncovered an elaborate counterfeiting operation.
„They had the bands, they had the cigar boxes, they had everything,“ said Nelda Fonticiella, Miami-Dade police spokeswoman. „It was a network-type operation. Some owned the print shop that would print up the bands. The other ones were building the cigar boxes.“
The eight people who were arrested will be arraigned Friday. The operation also involved the state attorney’s office, U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal inspectors office.