18,480 Cigarettes Seized at Dulles

924 packs of cigarettes wrapped in blankets

By Carissa DiMargo
|  Monday, Mar 12, 2012  |  Updated 12:03 PM EDT
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You can't smoke on planes anymore these days... which means that one passenger might have overpacked a bit.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized 924 packs of cigarettes from a passenger who arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport on Monday, March 5.

For those playing along at home, that's 18,480 cigarettes.

The cigarette-toting passenger -- who flew from Vietnam through Japan and into Dulles -- was referred for a secondary agriculture inspection. During the inspection, an X-ray revealed "a large quantity of individual cigarette packs in nearly all of his 10 pieces of luggage," CBP said in press release today.

The packs were mostly wrapped in blankets, authorities said. They confiscated the smokes for Failure to Declare. The passenger had repeatedly declared only two or three cartons (and also, fish).

Officers suspect the passenger was attempting to import the smokes for resale in the U.S. The passenger hasn't been publicly identified because he hasn't been charged with a crime. He is a legal permanent resident of the United States who lives in Washington, DC.

Unknown: whether he's a smoker himself.

Brand names of the illicit cigs included Marlboro, Kent, Craven, White Horse, Mild Seven and Esse. They were purchased in Vietnam, CBP said.

Ironically, Virginia has the second lowest cigarette tax in the country, reports LoudounTimes.com, and lawmakers are concerned that cigarettes are being smuggled out of the state.

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