Tuesday, 24 June 2008 5:03 AM

PNG Police make Major Counterfeit Cigarette Seizure

Papua New Guinean police seized a container of counterfeit cigarettes in Port Moresby after two months of surveillance in an effort to stop the flow of counterfeit goods into the country.

According to The National, the seizure was made on Saturday when the 20ft container was seized 'at a yard of a businessman in Gerehu while it was about to be opened by those who had imported the cigarettes', 'one a national and the other of Asian origin'.

The National reported that the container had 437 cartons of cigarettes that were green Pall Mall cigarette packets and 'had the label "Product of PNG" and the Modillon Road, Madang address of Pall Mall producer British American Tobacco on them'.

'Commissioner Customs Gary Juffa told reporters the seizing of the container was the result of police and customs officials working together to combat such crime' and that it was the 'second time "counterfeit" cigarettes were seized in Port Moresby'.

'An official said PNG Customs agents had received intelligence two months ago that the shipment was heading to Port Moresby from North Korea through China, and had been tracking it' and upon landing in Port Moresby, 'a company associated with a major retailing outlet presented false invoices and declarations, saying the container was loaded with cartons of baby diapers and toilet papers, valued at about K15,000, the official said'.

According to the report, Mr. Juffa said that 'counterfeit cigarettes were not the only items finding their way into PNG', that there were also 'counterfeit drugs (medicine), condoms, and electrical goods being sold on the streets of Port Moresby'.

Earlier in the month, the Pacific Islands Forum Regional Security Committee had met to discuss various issues, among them transnational crimes and issues of illegal drugs being seized from around the region.

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