Bust targets counterfeit tax stamps

Would've allowed bootleggers to evade taxes on cigarettes
April 9, 2008 4:51:27 PM PDT
Undercover agents in New York say they've seized millions of counterfeit tax stamps as part of a major investigation into tobacco smuggling. The fakes would have allowed bootleggers to evade more than $6 million in taxes if they had been slapped on packs of smuggled cigarettes.

Brooklyn prosecutors say the haul could be the state's largest ever.

A Jordanian national is under arrest. Investigators also seized more than 100 cases of counterfeit Marlboros made in China.

The bust is part of an ongoing investigation into gangs dealing in black market cigarettes.

The arrest comes as some authorities voice concern about whether the state's planned $1.25 hike in tobacco taxes will further fuel demand for contraband smokes.