Harbin Public Security Bureau’s Food and Drug Environment and Tourist City Guard detachment successfully cracked a crime of operation of huge electronic cigarettes products, seizing four suspects and 200,000 illegal HNB electronic cigarettes, involving more than 100 million yuan.
In March 2018, investigators learned in their work that the suspect Wan, together with many others, bought a large number of foreign brands of electronic cigarettes at low prices from smugglers Kong, Wang (female) and Sun in portal cities of Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and then smuggled them into the country at large quantities through online trading platforms and software. Recruit wholesale and retail agents and sell them to more than 30 cities in more than 10 provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government.
The Food and Drug Ring Detachment mobilized elite soldiers to form a special team. It traveled more than 30,000 kilometers in many cities throughout the country, and through more than 150 days and nights, it carried out continuous investigation work. After careful investigation and hard work, it successfully locked the relevant suspects involved in the case, and mastered the detailed context of illegal business, as well as the relevant situation of illegal business points.
On August 27, 2018, under the unified deployment of the Ministry of Public Security and the Provincial Public Security Department, the special task force organized the collection of networks in many places throughout the country. At one stroke, the suspects Wan, Sun, Wang and Hu were captured, more than 200,000 electronic cigarettes were seized, and a number of illegal electronic cigarette outlets were destroyed.
In September 2018, four suspects, including Wan, were arrested by the procuratorial organs according to law on suspicion of illegal business operations and transferred to the procuratorial organs for review and prosecution in November of the same year. At present, the case is still in further work.
After investigation, the electronic cigarettes involved in the case, commonly known as “IQOS tobacco bomb”, are heat not burn cigarettes produced by a tobacco enterprise abroad, which are flowed into China through abnormal channels by overseas operators in the name of cigarette substitutes, and spread and circulate in China. The electronic tobacco product was identified by the State Administration of Tobacco Monopoly as a tobacco monopoly product and was not included in the scope of imported tobacco monopoly products.
The police reminded the public that:
Electronic cigarette bombs of MARIBORO (Marlboro), PARLIAMENT (Bailemen), HEETS, FIIT and other brands appearing in the market have not been introduced into China through legal import channels for sale. They are all illegal smuggling. Please do not buy or vape.