Mexican customs agents are destroying 82.8 million cigarettes which were seized in the port city of Mazatlan in Sinaloa state after a record tobacco seizure, the largest in the history of the country.
The cigarettes, which arrived inside eight containers, failed to meet with Mexico's applicable non-tariff regulations and restrictions and so had to be destroyed.
The destruction of the cigarettes began on July 23 and will end on Wednesday (August 1) with the support of Mexican marines, the Attorney General's Office and health officials.
According to experts in the tobacco industry, the seizure is the largest in Mexico's history.
The seizure and destruction of the cigarettes benefits the Treasury, legitimate businesses and consumers' health since the substances contained in the cigarettes is unknown as well as the manufacturer, authorities said.
According to InSight Crime, a non-profit journalism and consultancy organization, the shipment of contraband cigarettes originated from China and India and was worth $12 million dollars.
The contraband cigarette trade is common across Latin America and authorities believe it is a common way for organized crime to launder illegal proceeds, say authorities.