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SM Jaleel: Juice labels fake

 The labels on the Trinidad Juices cans seized by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last month are counterfeit, local soft-drink manufacturer SM Jaleel has said. 

In a release yesterday on its website, the company, which produces the popular juice drink, said an internal examination showed the labels used on the Trinidad Juices cans found at the Port of Norfolk are “not real. They are fake”.

“The colour of the text disclosing the net fluid ounces (at the bottom front) on the original and authentic labels are light green whereas the colour of that text on the pro­duct which has been seized is dark green,” SM Jaleel said, along with an accompanying photograph of its orange juice product and a screen shot of the seized canisters.

CPB officers at the Port of Norfolk in the US state of Virgina seized 732 pounds of cocaine concealed in cans bear­ing the labels of Trinidad Juices orange and grapefruit drinks on December 20 last year. 

The wholesale value of the cocaine is about US$12 million and has a street value of as much as US$100 million, according to Customs officials.  

The company again stated its innocence.

“The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been investigating this matter since December 20, 2013. To date, SM Jaleel has not been contacted by the DEA, which indicates a lack of suspicion of SM Jaleel and its legitimate involvement...,” the release said. 

The company did add its lawyers in the US have been in contact with the DEA to ascertain and confirm details of the shipment.                                   —Carla Bridglal 

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