Calling Inspector Clouseau we have a problem in Florida. Seems there was a little problem with the 250 mile stretch between Arturo Fuente Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Somewhere along this route a 40 foot shipping container was stolen and inside were thousands of Arturo Fuente cigars.
A. Fuente Company has issued a statement explaining the cargo-shipping container was loaded onto a truck at the port, but the truck never made it to headquarters in Tampa.
“The container was actually loaded on the delivery truck, and then the truck was stolen,” Karen R. Smith, vice president of The Fuente Companies told Cigar Aficionado. “The Miami-Dade police have found the cab, but not the container. And now, the FBI is involved in the investigation.”
Ms. Smith did not reveal the overall value of the stolen cigars, as an adjuster would need to get involved to better estimate an accurate money loss. The Fuente Company did not learn of this until April 3, 2017.
Typically when expensive premium cigars are stolen in this manner they are re-sold at local cigar shops and tobacconists at huge discounted prices, so the Company is looking out for this activity now. “We are telling our retailers to look out for Fuente cigars being sold outside of the normal channels,” added Smith.
In an official Company internal letter, president and owner Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr., stated:
“I was stunned—this has never happened to us in over a century of business. Unfortunately, we can’t replace the hundreds of thousands of cigars that were stolen, and this loss will cause more shortages of Fuente cigars this year. We will allocate our cigars in a fair manner…We have been expanding our factory in the Dominican Republic for the last two years and we hope to increase production in the future.”
A. Fuente & Co. produces such popular brands as Fuente Fuente OpusX, Arturo Fuente Don Carlos, and Arturo Fuente Rosado Sungrown Magnum R.
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