Around $5.6 million worth of illegal tobacco was confiscated across New York State.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York State's Cigarette Strike Force seized 53,307 cartons of cigarettes and 261,220 untaxed cigars in 2016.

The combined street value of the seized items are approximately $5.6 million, officials say. The seizures represent a 117% percent increase in illegal tobacco confiscations from last year.

"New York has zero tolerance for this illicit activity and we will continue to do everything in our power to crack down on this behavior and stop these smugglers right in their tracks," Governor Cuomo stated. "Our message is simple: If you participate in cigarette smuggling, you will be caught and you will be held accountable."

In the Hudson Valley, 525 cartons of cigarettes and 21,931 cigars were confiscated.

All cigarettes sold in the state must have an authorized New York State cigarette tax stamp, verifying that the excise taxes have been paid, officials say.

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