Police raided a Borough Park warehouse this weekend and found 30,000 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes from China, masquerading as Marlboros, Newports and Camels. For those keeping track, at 20 cigarettes to a pack and 10 packs to a carton, that makes for a staggering 6 million cigarettes–a $4.5 million bust. “Selling this poison… is a drain on the state and city economy, because these cigarettes are entirely untaxed,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Haynes at a press conference.
Bizarrely, in addition to taking from tax revenue, the fakes are purportedly even less healthy than ordinary smokes–Brooklyn DA Racket Division Chief Michael Vecchione said Chinese manufacturers sometimes dry out tobacco leaves by running over them with trucks.
“As unhealthy as smoking is,” added Hynes, “smoking counterfeit and bootleg cigarettes is even worse, because there is no way of knowing what chemicals they contain.”
(Photo: Sherman Wang/Flickr)