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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered a criminal case against fraudsters involved in manufacturing counterfeit cigarettes of a registered company, and selling them in the open market, committing tax evasion, and causing huge loss of revenue to the national kitty.

In this regard, an FIR has been registered against the accused involved in the process of manufacturing and selling of counterfeit products of this registered company.

According to the details of the case, the FIA's Anti-Corruption Circle in Lahore has raided a warehouse in Sheikhupura, where counterfeit cigarettes of a registered company i.e. National Tobacco (Private) Limited, were recovered and seized under the relevant law.

The FIA has registered a case against the accused, Rana Muhammad Amjad, son of Rana Farzand Ali, for dumping and hiding the pirated cigarettes in the warehouse.

The agency officials said that they would expand the scope of the investigation and would ascertain the role of other culprits involved in the crime. The FIA had initiated the action against the accused following a complaint filed by Mazhar Ahmad advocate, who is a legal adviser of the National Tobacco (Private) Limited.

The company is duly registered in Azad Kashmir and has its head office in Lahore. The company has its own registered brands with copyrights and trademarks.

The complainant said that the accused were involved in embossing the company's trade mark, colour scheme, design and expression on the counterfeit cigarettes, and were marketing them as well.

The counterfeit cigarettes were not only incurring loss of millions of rupees to the national exchequer but also damaging the repute of the company and the health of the consumers, the complainant informed the FIA.

He said that they found during the market survey that counterfeit cigarettes of their registered brands were being marketed and sold in the shops by the accused with complete impunity. The complainant had urged the FIA's Anti-Corruption Circle to initiate action against the culprits to put an end to the illegal business. A four-member FIA team has seized numerous cartons of the counterfeit cigarettes and registered the case against the culprits for further investigation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020