International News

Terrorist Threat Makes Cuban Cigars Even Harder to Get a Hold Of

Technically, importing Cuban cigars to America has been illegal since 1963, but ordering the cigars from European distributors has always been a lightly regulated back-door for American enthusiasts. Well, new rules have made it harder to obtain the tobacco logs and the Department of Homeland Security has recently been confiscating hundreds of thousands of them as a result.

In October, the feds thwarted an attempt by terrorists that involved placing bombs in printing cartridges. New rules have called for tougher screening standards, and a practical ban on shipping foreign-shipped packages aboard U.S. passenger planes. That means European suppliers who ship to America have to stockpile enough Cuban cigars to buy space on a cargo plane. That means officials are more often detecting the illicit cargo.

Before the rules about 2000 cigars were confiscated every two weeks at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, a major shipping hub. According to the AP, in the past two weeks more than 100,000 cigars have been seized. Officials plan to "vaporize" all seized cigars.

[AP: New anti-terror rules thwart US Cuban cigar trade via Gawker]

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Kyle Munzenrieder