Beijing Police Bust Major Counterfeit E-Cigarette Operation

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    In a significant crackdown on counterfeit e-cigarette production and distribution, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, in collaboration with the Tobacco Monopoly Department, has executed the “Defend · 2024 Spring and Summer Safety Action.” This operation has led to the resolution of 15 related cases, the dismantling of 16 criminal gangs, the destruction of 32 dens, the criminal detention of 52 individuals, and the seizure of over 80 production devices, 240,000 e-cigarette cartridges, and 5.4 tons of e-liquid.

    The Scale of the Operation

    Initial Discovery and Investigation

    In April, the Dongcheng District Tobacco Monopoly Bureau discovered a shop illegally selling and transporting fruit-flavored e-cigarettes. This crucial lead was forwarded to the Dongcheng Public Security Sub-bureau, setting off a chain of events that would unravel a significant counterfeit operation.

    Arrests and Confessions

    The Dongcheng police quickly arrested the shop operator, Liu, and several others, confiscating over 3,000 boxes of fruit-flavored e-cigarettes. Liu’s confession revealed that, following the ban on fruit-flavored e-cigarettes, he sourced these products from other regions at low prices and sold them at exorbitant rates through WeChat groups and “Moments.”

    How the Counterfeit Operation Worked

    Production and Assembly

    Zhang, the mastermind, used legitimate production as a facade. He commissioned multiple accessory manufacturers to produce specified semi-finished products, which were then assembled into various fruit-flavored e-cigarettes at hidden locations. This method allowed Zhang to produce counterfeit e-cigarettes that closely mimicked legitimate products.

    Distribution Network

    Distributors nationwide purchased these counterfeit products from Zhang. Using personal connections, Zhang introduced these e-cigarettes to national agents, who then recruited customers via social media platforms. The final products were delivered to buyers through logistics and express delivery services, completing the illegal distribution chain.

    Impact and Implications

    Public Health and Safety

    The proliferation of counterfeit e-cigarettes poses significant risks to public health and safety. These products often bypass regulatory standards, leading to potential health hazards for consumers.

    Economic Consequences

    The counterfeit e-cigarette market also has severe economic implications. It undermines legitimate businesses, causing financial losses and damaging the integrity of the legal market. The extensive operation by the Beijing police not only disrupts the illegal market but also serves as a deterrent to future counterfeit activities.


    What was the main objective of the “Defend · 2024 Spring and Summer Safety Action”?

    The main objective was to crack down on counterfeit e-cigarette production and distribution, ensuring public safety and market integrity.

    How many cases were solved during this operation?

    A total of 15 related cases were solved.

    What were the key findings from the investigation?

    The investigation uncovered a criminal chain involving the production and distribution of counterfeit e-cigarettes, leading to the dismantling of multiple criminal gangs and illegal production dens.

    How were the counterfeit e-cigarettes distributed?

    The counterfeit e-cigarettes were distributed through a network involving personal connections, social media platforms, and logistics and express delivery services.

    What measures were taken against the criminals involved?

    52 individuals were criminally detained, and significant quantities of production devices, e-cigarette cartridges, and e-liquid were seized.