Information Release

XT 2003-05 - Excise And Motor Fuel Tax Division Information Release – Notice About Master Cigarette Settlement Agreement (MSA) - June 12, 2003

DEFAULT JUDGMENT ISSUED

The Franklin County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas, at the request of the Ohio Attorney General, granted default judgments against PT Bentoel Prima and Sarda Group (dba Sinnar Bidi, Udyog Ltd., and/or Kisanlal Bastiram Sarda). The judgments prohibit the companies from selling cigarettes to consumers within Ohio, whether directly or through a distributor, retailer, or similar intermediary or intermediaries. The judgment against PT Bentoel Prima includes, but is not limited, to the Kuta, Jakarta, Kratakoa, Bima, Terong, and Bentoel brands and is effective immediately and lasts until April 10, 2005. The judgment against Sarda Group includes, but is not limited, to the Kailas, Bullet, Indian, Vishnu, Village and Hare Krishna brands and is effective immediately and lasts until May 30, 2005.

The default judgments prohibit the sale, but not the possession, of brands manufactured or distributed by PT Bentoel Prima and the Sarda Group. Wholesalers, if necessary, may apply for a refund of the Ohio cigarette tax if the stamped packages are returned to the manufacturer in accordance with Ohio Administrative Rule 5703-15-15 or sold out-of-state after the Ohio stamps are removed from the package.

COMPLAINTS

The Ohio Attorney General's Office filed complaints with the Franklin County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas against the following companies for failure to make payments to a qualified escrow account.

Cigtec Tobacco, LLC
Ridgeway Brands Manufacturing, LLC
(f.k.a. Bell Quality Tobacco products,LLC)
Poro International
G.B. Tobacco International, Ltd
Citland, Ltd
Gulf Conversion Company, LLC

The complaints seek preliminary and permanent injunctive relief ordering them not to sell cigarettes to consumers in Ohio either directly or through a distributor, retailer, or other similar intermediary or intermediaries.

Any injunction issued against these companies may prohibit the sale, but not the possession, of their products in the state of Ohio. Wholesalers, if necessary, may apply for a refund of the Ohio cigarette tax if the stamped packages are returned to the manufacturer in accordance with Ohio Administrative Rule 5703-15-15 or sold out-of-state after the Ohio stamps are removed from the package. We will notify you if injunctions are issued.

Notification Alternative

If you received this release through the mail but would rather receive such notices electronically, simply send an e-mail to Tobacco_Taxes@tax.state.oh.us. In the comment area, enter your company name and the email address or addresses to which you want future notifications sent.

If you have any questions, please contact the Motor Fuel and Excise Tax Section at (855) 466-3921.