A total of 1,392 hideouts involving the production and distribution of fake cigarettes have been destroyed over the first six months of 2005, spokesman Xing Wanli of the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau said Wednesday in Beijing.
Approximately 3.2 billion fake cigarettes and 716 counterfeiting sets of equipment have been seized and disposed of, Xing said.
Of the 2,281 suspects detained, 582 have been sentenced while 32 were put to labor education and rehabilitation centers.
Xing said the market overhaul has never been eased in Guangdong and Fujian provinces where cigarettes counterfeiting activities have gone rampant.
To rectify the tobacco industry, the State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau also launched a nationwide overhaul on the qualifications of cigarette companies. A total of 1,248 companies have so far had their business licenses revoked.