MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (AP) — A man has been charged in a major cigarette smuggling operation in which police say he purchased more than $1 million in Virginia cigarettes over 18 months that were transported to New York and resold.
Chesterfield police Lt. James Profita tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that 31-year-old Ahmed Salem Leweisy operated Chinguitty Tobacco Shop in Midlothian as a front for his operation.
Leweisy was arrested May 24, but details of the alleged scheme haven’t been made public until recently.
Profita says Leweisy made tax-free purchases of thousands of cartons of cigarettes. Instead of reselling the cigarettes at his shop and collecting the Virginia sales tax, which are the second-lowest in the country, they were shipped to northern states where taxes are so high that the cigarettes could have been illegally resold for $2.5 million or more.
It’s unclear if Leweisy has an attorney.