Cigar Aficionado

Counterfeit Cohibas Confiscated in Miami

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.

"About a year ago, while on business for a week in Veracruz, MX, the main historic square was chock full of vendors peddling the whole assortment of "glass top" Faux-hiba boxes and all kind of locally made knock-offs. Sad, but this is a great business onto itself. And not only there, my sister brought back a "barber-poled" Faux-hiba from a cruise in the Caribbean for a friend of hers. When she asked me my opinion, I had a hard time holding back my laughter.." —June 5, 2012 16:38 PM
"I am from the Domincan and I recommend to never by cigars from the beach vendors for the same circumstances of this article." —May 19, 2012 13:00 PM
"What exactly is getting General Cigar all riled up about? It's obvious that the manufacturer of the fakes were aiming to copy the Cuban version of Cohiba, not GC's. Moreover, the point of making and selling the fakes is to take advantage of a well established brandname - kind of like what General Cigar is doing with their own Cohiba brand." —May 18, 2012 03:36 AM
"5/10/12, Often, what happens w/counterfeit products is not so much poor quality as inflated price. The fake Cohibas may be good quality; they're just not what you think they are." —May 10, 2012 00:48 AM
""What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) I recognise the brand issues but are they any good?" —May 5, 2012 21:25 PM
"Ironic that General Cigar is enforcing a trademark that is a fake in and of itself..." —May 4, 2012 14:30 PM
"That's good to know, I saw the exact same cigars being sold on a beach IN the Dominican about two weeks ago. " —April 29, 2012 18:01 PM
"If it's not a real Cohiba, then who produced these fakes. Can they trace it back to the source? " —April 25, 2012 23:20 PM
"Wow, the fakes just keep on coming. Interesting news break. " —April 25, 2012 17:32 PM