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Busted with Fake Smokes – QNS.com

Busted with Fake Smokes

Elmhurst Man Had Cache Of Untaxed Cigs

An Elmhurst man was busted with nearly 1,000 cases of contraband cigarettes, it was announced Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Investigators seized more than 940 cartons of contraband cigarettes from an Elmhurst man suspected of smuggling and selling the untaxed smokes.

Investigators identified the suspect as Hassan Aidibi of Hillyer Street in Elmhurst.

Police collared Aidibi in a Bronx garage that he allegedly used to import the the 942 cartons of cigarettes, which were not stamped to show thatAidibi paid NewYork State taxes on the smokes.

The contraband cigarettes reportedly came from Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, investigators said.

The cache of smokes amounted to a $56,000 tax dodge, investigators alleged.

Police seized the cigarettes, as well as a BMW automobile and $1,651 in cash, according to a statement from the State’s Taxation Department. Aidibi may have to pay penalties of between $30 and $600 per carton, it was noted.

The Tax Department’s Criminal Investigations Division investigated the case and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office will handle prosecution.

Investigators said surveillance on this case started after an anonymous tip to the Tax Department. Individuals who suspect someone is evading taxes by selling untaxed cigarettes, can report it to the Department by calling 1-518-457- 0578.

A criminal complaint is an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, it was noted.

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