by Nick Delgado
Guam - It's been about eight months now and the Attorney General's Office continues to investigate businesses who are selling illegal cigarettes that are either imported or counterfeit cigarettes baring popular name brands. For example, those that clearly state "Made in the Philippines, for Domestic Sale Only and Not for Export".
Last April KUAM News found these cheaper cigarettes being sold in stores in Harmon, sparking concerns as to whether taxes were being paid on their sale. Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas says the investigation is two-fold, explaining, "We're trying to make sure that if there are cigarettes coming in, that they aren't counterfeit and some of the main ones we're looking at aren't counterfeits they're just from a different region then the next step is are they paying their taxes. Are they setting the escrow funds necessary? So far, we've found that particular companies have been complying."
The AG's Office is also working with Guam Customs and Quarantine, who has been on the lookout for businesses bringing in the unregulated smokes and those who are cashing-in on counterfeits.