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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2001

More cigarette arrests made

By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer

Two more store employees were arrested yesterday for allegedly selling cigarettes without state tax stamps.

Sixteen people have been arrested since the Attorney General's Office began a crackdown on the sales of black market cigarettes. A new state law requires that all packs of cigarettes sold or offered for sale must be affixed with a cigarette tax stamp.

The law was implemented to ensure that taxes on cigarettes are paid. The tax is about a dollar per pack of cigarettes.

Anyone caught selling or intending to sell more than 1,000 cigarettes without a stamp could be charged with a Class C felony. The sale of fewer than 1,000 cigarettes without a stamp is a misdemeanor.

The Attorney General's Office so far has focused its investigation on independent stores in urban Honolulu. Chief investigator Donald Wong said yesterday that all but one of the arrests were for the more serious Class C felony charge.