Hyderabad: The Commissioner’s Task Force (central) team on Sunday raided a shop in Begum Bazaar and seized banned foreign cigarettes worth Rs 2 lakh. Acting on a tip off, the police raided Priya Novelties located at Aziz Plaza in Begum Bazaar and run by Mangilal Jain. The police seized various foreign brands of cigarettes including Paris, Win, Mond and others imported illegally into the country.

“Mangilal Jain was receiving the cigarettes from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata via rail. He was supplying the contraband to the local traders and earning huge profits,” said DCP (Task Force), P Radha Kishan Rao.

Jain procured the cigarette for Rs 6 each and sold it for Rs 20 to Rs 25 to retailers who in turn sold it for a price between Rs 30 and Rs 40 each.

The cigarettes were smuggled into the country via air and sea routes. They reach Gujarat and AP through the sea route and by air, they are brought to Hyderabad via Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesian cigarettes were smuggled in by non-declaration and concealment. They do not carry warnings or have only minimal cautionary messages unlike that stipulated under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2006. Apart from evasion of customs duty, smuggling of cigarettes posed a threat to the anti-tobacco initiative taken up by both the Union and State governments, the police said.

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