Confescated cigarettes returned to businessman

vlcsnap-2013-03-28-19h47m53s21Last week, we reported on a big contraband bust, where 1,300 cases of Modern Silver Elephant cigarettes were confiscated in the Jalacte area of Southern Belize. The cigarettes which valued some $143,000 US Dollars, were purchased legally in the Corozal Free Zone by Guatemala businessman Jose Antonio Ramirez and were to be exported to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. But for some reason, the cargo could not be shipped to Guatemala legally and so had to be returned to Belize, to Jalacte. But this move made the cigarettes uncustomed cargo and Customs confiscated the goods. Ramirez, through the services of Godfrey Smith was able to reclaim the cigarettes, after paying a fifty thousand dollar fine. Normally, confiscated goods require a fine three times its value for release, but Godfrey argued that no law was broken, since the items were not being smuggled. The cargo was then transported to the western border with Guatemala.

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