Under-the-counter cigarette sales snuffed out by police

Police officers check the confiscated cartons. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública

The cartons do not contain crack cocaine, but for some the cigarettes are nearly as bad. Not only that, they probably were smuggled.

So the Fuerza Pública accompanied by individuals from an anti-cancer association raided a series of small stores or pulperias in Tirrases de Curridabat Tuesday afternoon.

What they confiscated were 58 cartons of cigarettes. The packages inside did not contain the mandatory warning that smoking is not a good idea during pregnancy and that cigarettes can cause lung and heart diseases. The packages also did not show signs that taxes had been paid.

Smuggling cigarettes is big business and not as dangerous as moving traditional drugs. The cigarettes usually come in over the unprotected southern border.

Municipal officials also participated in the raids to make sure that the five stores visited had licenses. The store

operators were told that they could risk losing the business license if police found more contraband, the Fuerza Pública reported. Officers promised to continue their sweeps.

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