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Department of Taxation and Finance

7,400 Cigars, More than $1,000 in Cash, Untaxed Tobacco, and Van Seized in Illicit Tobacco Bust Tax Department investigators discover van full of contraband after spotting man allegedly making deliveries to stores in Schenectady

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For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

Schenectady Cigar Bust

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that its investigators seized more than 7,400 untaxed cigars and 3.6 pounds of untaxed loose tobacco after they noticed a man allegedly making deliveries of the contraband products along Crane Street in Schenectady.

Rafat Alshegga, 31, from Rensselaerville in Albany County, is charged with illegal possession of more than 2,500 untaxed cigars.

“Our criminal investigators, working with our law enforcement partners around the state, remain vigilant in their effort to stop those who traffic in illicit tobacco products at the expense of their communities and honest businesses,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt.
 
Tax Department investigators saw Alshegga delivering plain cardboard boxes to retail stores from a van he had been driving. After questioning Alshegga, investigators discovered more than 7,400 untaxed cigars, 3.6 pounds of untaxed loose tobacco, and $1,100 in cash. Investigators seized the contraband tobacco and cash along with the van Alshegga was driving.

Alshegga is scheduled to appear in Schenectady City Court on October 21.

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