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China Daily Website  

Chinese police bust counterfeit cigarette gang

Updated: 2016-10-20 16:28

WUHAN -- Police in Central China's Hubei province have busted a gang that transported and traded counterfeit cigarettes worth 5 million yuan ($746,269), 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) will face punishment, while severe offenders may be sentenced to life in prison.

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