Chinese police bust counterfeit cigarette gang

WUHAN-- Police in central China's Hubei Province have busted a gang that transported and traded counterfeit cigarettes worth 5 million yuan (746,269 U.S. dollars), authorities said Thursday.

The case surfaced in April this year as police in Hubei's Lichuan City intercepted a truck carrying 16,850 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes on a highway. The driver was arrested and further investigation revealed two brothers surnamed Guo as the masterminds of the trafficking gang.

The suspects were captured after a months-long manhunt. Investigators found evidence that the gang, led by the Guos, had succeeded in trafficking four truck-loads of counterfeit cigarettes from central Henan Province to sell in a remote area in southwestern Yunnan Province.

China is the world's largest cigarette producer and consumer market, with over 316 million adult smokers. The cigarette trade is governed by a state monopoly.

According to the criminal law, people who sell counterfeit products worth more than 50,000 yuan (7,462 U.S. dollars) will face punishment, while severe offenders may be sentenced to life in prison.

[ Editor: zyq ]


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