U.S. customs officials have confiscated 30000 Cuban cigars brought from Europe to O’Hare International Airport and are surveying another 70,000 they suppose are from Cuba.
This flood of seized cigars is the biggest that was seen at the Chicago Customs, which usually confiscated 10 to 12 cigars a week at the O’Hare international mail.
It is prohibited to bring any Cuban product into the United States without permission from the U.S. Treasury Department.
“Our officers from the Customs and Border Protection often found and confiscate various contraband brought from all over the world. But this is the first time in Chicago when a great number of illegal tobacco products are brought,” declared David Murphy, chief of field operations for the agency’s Chicago office.
Customs representatives have declared that 30,000 seized cigars are of Cuban origin and are still checking other 70,000.
According to customs officials all confiscated cigars will be destroyed.
Neil Mehra who owns a State Cigar Shop in Chicago said that Cuban cigars are in a great demand because the climate and soil in Cuba are just ideal for growing tobacco. And the most important is than Cubans know how to roll cigars.
“I want to say that they produce the best quality cigars because they have been producing cigars for many years,” Mehra added.
Officials attribute the contraband flow of the last two weeks to changes in U.S. Transportation Security Administration regulations.
“On November, 8 the Department of Homeland Security prohibited shipment of packages weighing more than 16 ounces from passenger flights,” Bell stated.
Customs officials think that because European consignors could no longer send parcels to the United States through these flights, they stockpiled packages until they might be placed on cargo freighters that fly not so often.
We googled “buy Cuban cigars” and discovered a lot of European sites, which declare that they do not have any problems with sending them to U.S. Some had a denial stating that they can’t guarantee that cigars wouldn’t be confiscated by the customs officials,” Ben said.
Mehra and his wife said that many of their customers ask for Cuban cigars, but they tell them that cigars produced in Dominican Republic are even better.
A customer, Nikolas Peterson, declared that he only once tried a Cuban cigar, when his friend brought it from Aruba. He said that it was stronger and of a better quality that his usual cigars.
Does the flavor have something in common with the cigars being illicit?
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