Beware Fake Cubans

A friend once told me that fake Cuban cigars are so rampant, that even when he travels to Havana, most of the Cuban cigars he is offered in the streets are fakes (real Cuban cigars most likely, but with fake labels.)  When you get alleged Cubans on-line or when your favorite cigar store sells you one from their secret stash (not that that would ever happen), there’s a very good chance you are getting an impostor.

As proof, a South Florida multi-million dollar phony cigar operation went up in smoke this week when it was raided by law enforcement officials after a five-month investigation.  At least one man was arrested and another taken into custody after the raid on two Hialeah warehouses that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said were some of the biggest counterfeit cigar operations in the country.

Among the items confiscated were fake cigar boxes, made so well they look better than the original in some cases, a pallet full of phony cigar labels, and a half-million dollar printer used to make the labels and cigar tubes.  Indeed, some of the “counterfeit” labels were not counterfeits at all, but were labels from the actual factory; probably stolen according to law enforcement.  In other words, short of a DNA test on the tobacco, there is really no way to know if that Cuban you are smoking is from the real maker.

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