Bath Beach Man Busted With 3,236 Cartons Of Black Market Cigarettes

The cigarettes seized as part of the bust. (Source: Dept. of Taxation and Finance)

The cigarettes seized as part of the bust. (Source: Dept. of Taxation and Finance)

A Bath Beach man was one of two people arrested yesterday after authorities seized 3,236 cartons of contraband cigarettes from his home and a Borough Park stash house, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced yesterday.

Ji Long Chen, 37, was cuffed by the department’s Cigarette Strike Force and taken to the 62nd Precinct alongside alleged co-conspirator Mohamed Kassim, 27.

The department said they seized 3,236 cartons of cigarettes, 3,795 counterfeit tax stamps, and more than $130,000 in cash following a raid on two properties associated with Chen.

Chen has been charged with four felonies, including criminal tax fraud, and the possession and transport for sale of illegal cigarettes. Kassim, who lives near Eastern Parkway, was charged with possession or transport for sale of unstamped cigarettes.

According to authorities, department investigators raided a stash house at 940 43rd Street in Borough Park yesterday, where they seized nearly 800 Virginia-stamped cigarette cartons, and discovered the phony New York stamps. Kassim was at the stash house at the time of the raid, and was arrested there.

Meanwhile, investigators followed Chen to his Shore Parkway home near Bay 41st Street. There they found the rest of the cigarette cartons and $75,000 in cash. They executed a search warrant and searched two bank safe deposit boxes connected to the pair and seized additional cash they believe came from the sale of the illegal cigarettes, bringing the total to $131,763.

The two have been released on their own recognizance and a court appearance has not yet been set.

  • Alfonce

    well if the damn taxes weren’t so high on cigs people wouldn’t have to resort to this. we can thank Oboza for signing the PACT act and now you ant even mail them. what a complete moron. ha ha, the city loses out on all the taxes, ha ha

    also the higher tax is not stopping anyone in my neighborhood from smoking, so I dont know what they were thinking, probably just a money making scam.
    What will happen when everyone stops smoking and there is no more tax revenue, what will they do, tax milk?????

    • Supporter of Left Handed Rule

      Actually, the higher the cig tax has gone, the fewer people are smoking. You may see the Die Hards who still puff away, but just ask the cigarette manufacturers and they will tell you that cigarette smoking is a dying habit in the USA. You can look it up. If and When everyone stops smoking, it will blow a hole in the 50 states’ budgets bigger than a Mack truck. And also as the death rate from lung cancer declines, Social Security will go broke from paying all those extra beneficiaries who live to collect, instead of doing the Patriotic thing and die from cancer.

  • Alfonce

    also, so who gets the money the police found in the mans home. It isnt thiers, it isnt the citys…..who actually pockets it? does the man get it back??

    lets think about that, I know they dont throw the money in the garbage….someone will get the money…

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