In regional news, Mexican authorities intercepted a large contraband of cigarettes in Mexico City last week. What has caught our interest in this report is that the Mexican media is reporting that the cigarettes originate from Belize. The amount intercepted is reportedly over fourteen million cigarettes, the most that authorities have intercepted since January last year. The goods, one thousand four hundred two boxes, were found in a trailer.
They ranged in brands including Bronco, D & J, Royal, and Supreme and Gold Seal. The cigarettes were crossed into Mexico through the Belize Mexico Border and no duties were paid on the products. The trailer was being driven by forty two year old Juan Ramirez Sanchez who presented false documentation for air conditioners.
These cigarettes, authorities believe were to be sold in Tepito and other states in Mexico. Reports indicate that the increased smuggling of cigarettes started as a result of stiff taxes imposed for cigarettes. These regulations were put in place by Mexican authorities as they have acknowledged that these pose a high risk to young persons. The already very low price, as low as a dollar Belize currency per pack, makes them easily available to young people and thus encourages early consumption of tobacco at a highly vulnerable age.
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