Authorities: cigarette smuggling ring linked to Capital Region

Posted at: 05/16/2013 5:06 PM
Updated at: 05/17/2013 11:06 AM
By: WNYT Staff

ALBANY - Authorities have linked a cigarette smuggling ring with ties to stores in Albany and Schenectady counties to known terrorists.

The state Attorney General's Office has charged 16 people in the case. They're accused of selling untaxed cigarettes up and down the east coast.

One of the stores includes the House of Juan in Westgate Plaza in Albany. The state Tax and Finance Department raided the store back in April. One employee was arrested.

According to the state Attorney General's Office, the suspects had alleged links to known terrorists, including Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric serving a life sentence for a conspiracy to blow up New York City landmarks. That combination has raised concerns about where the money from the cigarette trafficking scheme went.