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December 2, 2011

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4-year term for fake cigarettes

A man who produced nearly 1,300 cartons of fake Chunghwa, a leading cigarette brand in China, in his underground workshop was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.

The convict, surnamed He, was also fined 40,000 yuan (US$6,268) for producing inferior and counterfeit goods, the Pudong New Area People's Court said yesterday.

Prosecutors said He, 43, used bulk inferior cigarettes and repackaged them with the same cigarette paper, label paper and red and white packages as the famous Chunghwa cigarettes made by Shanghai Tobacco (Group) Co.

Police seized 1,277 cartons (one carton contains 10 packs) of counterfeit Chunghwa and 106,000 pieces of cigarette rolling paper and packet paper in He's private workshop on Gubei Road in Baoshan District on May 28. The total estimated value was more than 825,000 yuan.

He, a native of Nantong City in Jiangsu Province, was apprehended the day he arrived in his workshop with 24 boxes of inferior cigarettes, prosecutors said.

He started the business in March 2010 and bought the raw materials at 750 yuan per box. He admitted producing counterfeit cigarettes and sold them for 1,250 yuan a box.

A box of genuine Chunghwa costs about 15,000 yuan.


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