$5m worth of counterfeit cigarettes seized in Clarendon
An assortment of counterfeit cigarettes worth approximately $5 million was seized at a house in James Village, Waterlane, in Clarendon, yesterday.
Officers from the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) unit arrested two Jamaicans, a brother and sister. The illicit cigarettes were found in a storage facility at the front of the house. The duo, aged 40 and 47, respectively, operates a bar and a car wash next door.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Victor Barrett of C-TOC said that they aim to put a dent in the illicit trade. Noting that persons are often of the impression that when counterfeit goods are seized it always involves the Chinese, Barrett made it clear that the police were not targeting any particular nationality.
"Anywhere we get the intelligence and we have the evidence, then we are going there. So it's not an assault on the Chinese. Anywhere you have counterfeit goods and we have the evidence, we are going to get them," said Barrett.
On Monday, in an operation on Barry Street in downtown Kingston, more than $100 million in counterfeit clothes and shoes was seized. Barrett then warned that this type of operation would be extended to the rural areas.
"Almost every day we have raids, but some of the raids are not like the last two, where the dollar value reaches the millions, so people might not hear about them. But Assistant Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, who heads C-TOC, is adamant that we must employ a proactive approach to how we police the counterfeit industry, and so he's steadfast and committed to the whole crime-reduction strategy," said Barrett.