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Police seize 18 suspects in fake cigarette factory

SHANGHAI police destroyed an underground factory that made fake cigarettes of famous brands in suburban Jiading District and detained 18 suspects.

More than 80 officers took part in the raid on April 11, following a secret investigation based on a tip from an informer, police said today.

More than 1,400 cartons of cigarettes with fake labels of Chunghwa and other brands were found in the factory equipped with 18 machines. The total value of the counterfeiting case exceeds 20 million yuan, police said.

Detectives found that the 18-member gang rented a two-story house and built a hidden passage to a secluded workshop where workers stayed in the confined space whole day, police said.

Their leader, a man surnamed Zhang, said they bought raw materials from Guangdong and Fujian provinces and hired workers to produce, transport and sell fake cigarettes since last May.

Their fake cigarettes were sold between 400 yuan and 650 yuan per carton. The counterfeits showed high semblance to genuine products, even with an anti-fake label on the package, police said.

So far this year Shanghai police have seized more than 300,000 cartons of fake cigarette and detained more than 110 suspects.


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