Beware fake Havanas, restaurants are told

01 January 2000
Beware fake Havanas, restaurants are told

Restaurateurs are being warned to watch out for fake Havana cigars flooding the country - or face the fumes of frustrated customers.

One major UK Havana importer said the fake cigar trade in Cuba has grown into a large-scale criminal activity, and customer complaints suggest that more and more of them are reaching Britain.

Fakes are not particularly easy to detect until smoked, when the experience can be "disappointing if not actively unpleasant", says importer Hunter and Frankau.

The counterfeiters have access to all the right packaging, hallmarks and labels, with one exception - they cannot reproduce the English Market Selection (EMS) labels.

Any business that is offered Havana cigars outside the normal distribution channels at below trade price and without an EMS sticker should contact Hunters & Frankau on 0171-736 8533.

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