Philip Morris USA Seizes 290 Packs of Counterfeit Cigarettes

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Philip Morris USA Seizes 290 Packs of Counterfeit Cigarettes

02/03/2011

RICHMOND, Va. -- In its continued fight against counterfeit cigarettes, Philip Morris USA has seized 290 packs of counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes from two retailers on the Poospatuck Reservation in Suffolk County, N.Y. The seizure was part of the company’s lawsuit against the retailers.

The move comes after a federal judge in New York approved PM USA’s request for emergency relief including the ability to search smoke shops for counterfeit Marlboros in New York. In total, the company has sued 48 retailers in the state for selling counterfeit cigarettes, including six other Poospatuck retailers.

"The sale of counterfeit and contraband cigarettes results in significant lost revenue for the state and city in a time when these additional funds are sorely needed," said Joe Murillo, vice president and associate general counsel, Altria Client Services speaking on behalf of PM USA. "Philip Morris USA will continue to combat illicit cigarette sales by supporting law enforcement investigations and pursuing litigation.

"The sale of counterfeit cigarettes undermines the value of Philip Morris USA’s brands and the legitimate channels through which our products are distributed and sold," he added. "Selling counterfeit cigarettes is illegal and we will take appropriate action to protect our brands."