Thursday, September 14, 2006

More Fake Cigarettes Flood Korea

The Korea Times reports on the growing number of fake cigarettes imported into Korea from "China and South East Asia"

In just a six-month period from February to July, KTRA officials found and reported to police more than 290,000 packs of smuggled cigarettes that were sold at shops in Chongno, downtown Seoul, Ha said. 

"About half of the fake or illegally imported cigarettes were Dunhills and most others were popular foreign brands, with some Korean brands in the mix. If we find this much in just Chongno, imagine the amount of illicit products traded nationwide,’’ he said. 

On Tuesday, police arrested 65 illegal traders who smuggled more than 35,000 packs of counterfeit cigarettes made in China through the ports of Inchon and Pyongtaek and sold them to bars, karaoke rooms, night clubs and other entertainment establishments.

Note used quotes on "China and South East Asia". Why? One thing not said to much is the fact North Korea produces and exports a number of fake cigarettes. Is the Customs Service and KTRA (Korea Tobacco Retailers Association) hiding something not to get the North mad?

Final thought I love the headline on this piece:

Fake Cigarettes Imperil Smokers

Reminds me of a joke about the warning labels put on cigarette packs in the US. "Smoking is safe for me, becuase I am a man and I only buy the packs that say they are harmful to pregnant women."


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