DRS: DRS Takes Lead in Coordinated Tobacco Bust

DRS Takes Lead in Coordinated Tobacco Bust

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tobacco, counterfeit goods, hallucinogenic products and cash seized

Hartford – Commissioner of Revenue Services Kevin B. Sullivan today announced that a multi-jurisdictional operation lead by the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) MSA Tobacco Enforcement Unit resulted in four arrests and the confiscation of large amounts of cash and illegal products.  This is the second major tobacco bust made by DRS this month.


Following months of investigation, the DRS MSA Tobacco Enforcement Unit joined with the Hartford, Bridgeport, Newington, and Wethersfield Police Departments as well as the Office of Connecticut’s Chief State’s Attorney and federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to issue search and seizure warrants that resulted in four arrests: Shiraj A. Mhommed, 50; Sabia A. Raham, 37; Mohammed Shaheen, 51; and Ahmed Mustak, 33. Each faces numerous charges including possession of untaxed tobacco, conspiracy/possession of untaxed tobacco, first degree larceny, and first degree conspiracy/larceny.


Said Commissioner Sullivan, “This is yet another example of DRS and law enforcement agencies working together to combat the growing problem of tobacco product smuggling.  When I announced two years ago that our agency was going to get tougher with these criminals, I meant it.”


Three businesses owned by Shiraj A. Mhommed were involved: City Gas, White Street; Hartford; City Gas, Albany Avenue, Hartford; and City Gas, Huntington Turnpike, Bridgeport. More than $120,000 in un-taxed tobacco products and cash were recovered from the three locations, as well as a large amount of counterfeit goods and hallucinogenic products. According to the arrest warrant, Mr. Mhommed and one of his employees allegedly travelled to Pennsylvania weekly with about $40,000 in cash to purchase untaxed tobacco products to supply these businesses.


The MSA Tobacco Enforcement Unit is a criminal enforcement unit within DRS. Anyone with information regarding illegal trafficking of tobacco or cigarettes is urged to call the DRS 24-hour tip line at 860-297-4887. Tips can be submitted by email to tobaccotips@po.state.ct.us.


For more information about Connecticut tax issues, please visit the DRS web site at www.ct.gov/DRS or call 1-800-382-9463 in state, or (860) 297-5962 from anywhere.

Content Last Modified on 1/15/2016 8:05:52 AM