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Tobacco

Republic Tobacco Takes Actions Against Counterfeit Products

Manufacturer works with law enforcement, lawsuits to deter abuses
Photograph: Shutterstock

GLENVIEW, Ill. In a series of coordinated police raids, government-enforcement actions, civil suits and product seizures, Republic Tobaccoa wholesaler, distributor and retailer of tobacco and tobacco accessoriestook steps to curb the sale of counterfeit product as it relates to its TOP- and JOB-branded cigarette papers, the company said in a statement.

On May 14, the police sheriff in DeKalb County, Ga., executed search warrants on three businesses that were allegedly trafficking in counterfeit goods, resulting in criminal and civil seizures, the statement said.

While not naming any additional markets or warrants, Republic officials said several enforcement actions took place around the country and resulted in the seizure of “significant quantities” of counterfeit TOP and JOB cigarette papers, as well as other allegedly counterfeit goods.

In conjunction with the undisclosed number of police raids, Republic also filed unspecified civil actions seeking monetary and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief from those who traffic in what the company claims is counterfeit goods.

“To all those who seek to illicitly profit by trafficking in counterfeit goods, [Republic] will use all the power and resources available to it under the law to prosecute and bring to justice counterfeiters of its products,” officials with the Glenview, Ill.-based tobacco company said.

Officials said they continue to work with both federal and state law enforcement authorities and police departments to prosecute criminally and punish those who would knowingly traffic in counterfeit cigarette papers.

Glenview, Ill.-based Republic has filed lawsuits against wholesalers and retailers trafficking in counterfeit goods in states throughout the country, with additional actions forthcoming, the company said. “We have also filed actions against foreign nationals selling counterfeit goods at trade shows,” officials said. “And we monitor trade shows for the proliferation and marketing of counterfeit products.”

The company has also engaged private investigators who coordinate with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs, the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement where available, officials said.

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