WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Authorities Bust 16 In Cigarette Smuggling Ring With Terrorist Ties

Play associated audio
Raul Lieberwirth: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lanier67/237055775/

In a federal sting operation that spanned the East Coast, authorities said they stopped a massive cigarette smuggling ring that might have used profits to fund terrorist groups.

Homeland Security agents on Wednesday stormed at least two Ocean City, Md., properties owned by Samir and Basel Ramadan, taking items from their homes and seizing their vehicles.

Prosecutors said the men are leaders of a group that trafficked $55 million in smuggled cigarettes from coastal Virginia to upstate New York and New York City last year, moving 20,000 cartons at a time. The cigarettes were then sold tax-free to a large network of distributors.

Officials said the group dodged $80 million in taxes and made more than $10 million in profits.

In New York, the Daily News reported the NYPD busted 16 people connected in the smuggling ring. Some are believed to have strong ties to Hamas and Hezbollah.

Authorities have been trying to stop cigarette smuggling operations for years, not only in an effort to recoup taxes, but also because there's growing evidence that the profits enable terrorist groups, according to law enforcement.

NPR

In Its Retelling, 'Roots' Is Powerful, Must-See Television

This weekend, an eight-hour remake of the 1977 miniseries begins airing on A&E, Lifetime and The History Channel. TV critic David Bianculli says the new Roots deserves to be seen and talked about.
NPR

Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
NPR

Democrats Burned By Charges Of A Rigged Nomination, But Some In GOP Watch With Envy

Even some of Hillary Clinton's foremost fans and staunchest party regulars — such as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi — are ready to talk about a fresh infusion of populism for the next round.
NPR

Reports Peg Tech Billionaire As Funder Of Hulk Hogan's Case Against Gawker

The New York Times says entrepreneur Peter Thiel confirms he has been bankrolling the ex-wrestler's lawsuit. Gawker is appealing a jury award to Hogan of $140 million over publication of a sex tape.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.