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28,000 packs of illegal cigarettes found in semi during traffic stop

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Agents discovered almost 28,000 packs of illegal cigarettes during a traffic stop involving a semi truck in Arkansas earlier this month. 

The incident occurred in Lonoke, Arkansas on Wednesday, April 10th and involved agents with Arkansas Tobacco Control and the Central Arkansas Drug Task Force. The news release covering the incident was released on Monday, April 15th. 

According to KAIT 8 News, agents stopped the semi truck on Interstate 40 for unknown reasons and conducted a search of the truck. 

“A search of the commercial motor vehicle revealed 27,940 packs of untaxed contraband cigarettes valued at more than $243,000 along with $4,142 in cash,” the news release stated. 

35-year-old trucker Emile Bangoura from Atlanta was arrested on suspicion of possession of untaxed tobacco. The seizure marks the second-largest in Tobacco Control’s history. 

“Untaxed illegal cigarette smuggling has significant financial effects on law-abiding business,” said Trent Minner of the Regulatory Division. “We have more than 5,200 active tobacco permits in Arkansas. These are businesses that pay taxes as required and are monitored to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations.”

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