Illicit machines found

| August 3, 2017

Five ‘key members’ of a gang have been charged in China with producing and selling illicit tobacco machines, according to a Shanghai Daily story relayed by the TMA and quoting the Jiading District People’s Procuratorate.

It is alleged that between February and June 2016, the gang members sold five machines for 2.2 million yuan (US$327,400) in Yunxiao and Xiamen, Fujian province, and in Taiwan.

Prosecutors said that, without getting approval from the local tobacco authority, the main suspect had rented two warehouses in Jiading as workshops and hired workers to produce the tobacco manufacturing machines.

In China, tobacco production and sales are under state control.

August is clearly a busy month for illicit-machinery busts in China. On August 4 last year, this magazine reported that Shanghai police had busted a seven-member gang that built and sold illicit cigarette-making machines nationwide.

The 2016 report, which was based on a story by Janet Zhang for the Shanghai Daily quoting Shanghai Television, bore some resemblances with that of the 2017 story – certainly in respect of geography and machine prices.

The gang, which apparently operated out of the Jiading District of Shanghai, sold their machines to people in other provinces, including Fujian, Liaoning and Guangdong.

When the police busted the gang on July 12, they seized 19 machines.

According to the police, the gang had been running the business since October 2014.

The gang members were said to have bought machine parts from other places and hired people to assemble them in Jiading.

The machines, which were said to have sold at prices ranging from 250,000 yuan to 400,000 yuan, were apparently capable of producing 2,000 cigarettes a minute.


Category: Breaking News, Illicit trade

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