2 Indians plead guilty to smuggling counterfeit cigarettes into US
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2 Indians plead guilty to smuggling counterfeit cigarettes into US

India-based company Jubilee Tobacco Industries Corp also pleaded guilty and faces a fine of up to $5,00,000.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2018 09:07 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Washington
India,United States of America,Counterfeit Cigarettes
A man smokes a cigarette in Mumbai on November 27, 2017. (AFP)

Two Indians and a India-based company on Wednesday pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle counterfeit cigarettes into the United States.

Federal prosecutors said the counterfeit cigarettes bore “substantially indistinguishable” trade name and marks of the American brand of Newport cigarettes.

Abhishek Shukla and Harish Shabhai Panchal each face up to five years in jail and $2,50,000 in fines followed by supervised release of up to five years.

The India-based company, Jubilee Tobacco Industries Corp, faces a fine of up to $5,00,000.

In its Plea Agreement, the company agreed to forfeit $3,00,000 to the US.

Sentencing in the case is scheduled for February 12.

The three pleaded guilty to conspiring with the intent to defraud and mislead, sell and cause the sale and dispensing of a counterfeit tobacco product (cigarettes), the prosecutors said.

The trade name and marks of Newport brand of cigarettes were registered on the principal register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The counterfeiting was done in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, they said.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 09:07 IST