Over 10,000 counterfeit Cohiba cigars were seized Monday by agents from the Miami Office of the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco after they raided a slew of retail stores in Miami’s Calle Ocho, a tourist destination neighborhood of Little Havana.
General Cigar Co.—the exclusive owner of the Cohiba trademarks for the U.S.—said the seizures were the result of an investigation conducted by law enforcement, in cooperation with General.
“Protecting cigar consumers from counterfeiters and maintaining the integrity of our products is a top priority for the company,” said General’s president Dan Carr. “We are very grateful for the efforts of the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco, and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as the investigation continues.”
The fake cigars featured bands with the classic Cuban yellow-and-black Cohiba design, though the words “Republica Dominicana” appeared under the Cohiba logo rather than “Habana, Cuba.” According to General, the estimated retail value of the seizure exceeds $200,000.
General devotes significant resources to protecting the frequently counterfeited Cohiba brand. Last year, a separate investigation lead to the confiscation of more than 3,000 fake Cohibas seized from seven tobacco retail stores located in Key West, Florida.
Law enforcement officials are expected to file criminal charges for violations of Florida State law relating to counterfeit goods.
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