среда, 16 ноября 2011 г.

Dispute over tobacco companies' payments settled

major tobacco companies

Attorney General Marty Jackley announced recently that the participating manufacturers in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement have released their claims against South Dakota in the diligent enforcement litigation.

South Dakota was one of 12 states and four territories that are deemed uncontested by the major tobacco companies.

The dispute started in 2006 when the participating manufacturers reduced their annual MSA payment to the states. South Dakota’s annual payment is more than $20 million. The participating manufacturers claimed they were entitled to the reduction because the states did not diligently enforce certain statutes relating to other tobacco companies who were not part of the settlement.

As a result, South Dakota and other states sued the participating manufacturers.

“South Dakota has done its due diligence to enforce the tobacco laws arising out of the tobacco settlement agreement,” Jackley said.

“This success is the result of the cooperative efforts of the Department of Revenue and Attorney General’s Office with the full support of our state legislators.”

Tuesday Sector Leaders: Entertainment, Cigarettes & Tobacco Stocks

Tobacco Stocks

In trading on Tuesday, entertainment shares were relative leaders, up on the day by about 0.8%. Leading the group were shares of Tudou Holdings Limited Ads , up about 6.3% and shares of Lodgenet Interactive up about 6% on the day.

Also showing relative strength are cigarettes & tobacco shares, up on the day by about 0.7% as a group, led by Star Scientific ( STSI - news - people ) , trading up by about 3.1% and Reynolds American ( RAI - news - people ) , trading up by about 1% on Tuesday.

Armed Robbers Take Cash and Cigarettes

Newport cigarettes

Police are reviewing surveillance video of an armed robbery that took place Monday night at a Salina store. Police were called to Rod's Convenience Store #2, 1339 N. 9th, on Monday night around 10pm after a male clerk was robbed by two men dressed in black.

The suspects, dressed in black clothes and wearing ski masks entered the store at 9:57pm and demanded money from the register. The two fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash and two cartons of Newport cigarettes. The clerk told police one of them flashed a black handgun during the holdup.

The employee also described the two suspects as skinny and short - one standing about 5'8'' tall and the other shorter than that. If you can identify anyone in the video, or have any information concerning who committed this crime, call Crimestoppers at 825-TIPS, text SATIPS to CRIMES (274637), or visit Salina Police Department and follow Crimestoppers link to submit a web tip. You may receive a cash reward of up to $1,000 and you are not required to give your name.

Two packs of cigarettes stolen by man from Convenient Mart

packs of cigarettes

A man gave up prying open a cash register and stole two packs of cigarettes during a burglary at the Convenient Food Mart on Pierce Street early Tuesday morning.
Surveillance video recorded the man smashing the bottom half of a glass door with a hammer at about 5:43 a.m. He crawled through the opening and jumped over the counter.
The man opened two drawers below the counter for keys to the cash register. When he didn’t find any keys, he used what appears to be a chisel and a hammer to pry open the register.
Several attempts were made to open the register without success. The man jumped over the counter and stole two packs of cigarettes from the middle of a rack, the video shows.
Police hope someone can identify the suspect by the video.
The man is described as having a thin build, and wore a blue hooded shirt, a black long coat, blue jeans, gloves and black shoes. He fled through the smashed door and was recorded heading west on the sidewalk in front of the store, police said.

среда, 2 ноября 2011 г.

Eight arrested in alleged B.C. tobacco smuggling plot

An investigation into large-scale tobacco smuggling to British Columbia has reached into Ontario, with the arrest of eight suspects accused of running a contraband ring that shipped more than half a million cartons of cigarettes from China to Canada, along with chemicals for the manufacturing of amphetamine and even counterfeit running shoes.
The suspects are alleged to be members of Asian organized crime, the RCMP said Tuesday in announcing their arrests.

The criminal network is accused of being behind two of the largest seizures of contraband cigarettes in B.C., with an estimated value of $8.3-million.

For two years, Canadian law-enforcement agents worked with police in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan to crack down on the group of alleged Asian organized crime.

During that time, the RCMP said, federal agents intercepted 11 shipping containers, seven in Vancouver and four in Toronto, that the gang used to smuggle 583,600 cartons of cigarettes and six tonnes of Phenyl-2-Propanone (P2P), an oily liquid for the illicit production of amphetamines.

Smokers find a way to save on cigarettes

save on cigarettes

A growing number of smokers are bypassing commercial brands and rolling their own cigarettes, at home or at a specially equipped business location.

Savings are the main draw. Roll-your-own smokers typically use pipe tobacco, which is taxed at a lower rate than tobacco made for cigarettes.

At We Roll in Cape Coral, for example, a 200-cigarette carton costs $27.50, including the 6 percent state sales tax. That’s about half the cost of a carton of brand-name products.

Savings of nearly 50 percent or more are not uncommon at other area stores catering to roll-your-own cigarette customers. The biggest part of the discount comes from roll-your-own operations using pipe tobacco, which is taxed at a much lower rate than cigarette tobacco.

“Some people say they save as much in a month as their car payment,” said Russ Peterson, co-owner of the We Roll Cheap Cigarettes LLC operating in Lee and Collier counties.

In the past two years, Peterson and business partner Lou McQuaid have opened five stores. They expect to open a sixth company-owned store as early as next week east of Fort Myers, near Palm Beach Boulevard and Buckingham Road.

The We Roll in Cape Coral occupies the former WaMu bank branch at the Coral Pointe shopping center. It’s outfitted with popular magazines, a patio table set and additional perky-red chairs for customers waiting to use the rolling machines. Framed portraits of vintage celebrities with cigarettes -- including Audrey Hepburn, Paul Newman, and Lucille Ball -- adorn the walls. Country music plays softly.