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Cigarette ring suspect puts up properties as collateral for release

By Candace Sipos --csipos@nvdaily.com

BERRYVILLE -- A man who has been held since early November for his role in a more than $33 million contraband cigarette ring has agreed to forfeit his property, including the 340 Quick Mart in Berryville, as collateral for his release.

Mohammad Syed Lone Kashmiri, 47, must appear for any required court proceedings or risk losing the properties at 304 and 306 N. Buckmarsh St., where he operated the 340 Quick Mart alongside his family before being arrested on Nov. 2.

John and Ghazal Parveen Mahmood of 18190 Mill House Square, Leesburg, also agreed to put up one property totaling almost $157,000 in net value as collateral, according to online court documents. It is unknown how they are related to Kashmiri.
The property appears to be the couple's home, as it is listed as their residence in court documents and on their driver's licenses.

Another group -- Nasim Farzana Shahabuddin, Nasim Tabitha Shahabud and Nasim Akhtar Shahabuddin -- is offering their home at 447 Silverbell Terrace, N.E., Leesburg, as part of the deal. The net value of the property is more than $247,000. The relationship between the defendant and these three property owners is also unknown.

Kashmiri and his wife, Farhat J. Lone Kashmiri, added their properties on Buckmarsh Street and a lot on Landsdowne on the Potomac in Loudoun County to the list last, on Dec. 29, according to documents.

The land and improvements at 304 N. Buckmarsh St. was assessed last year as totaling almost $540,000, while the bordering property was assessed at nearly $194,000.

The defendant was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, trafficking in contraband cigarettes, money laundering - interstate commerce, and engaging in monetary transactions after selling thousands of cartons of taxed an untaxed cigarettes, not realizing they were linked to undercover federal agents selling such cigarettes out of the Shenandoah Valley.

Jin Yan Jun told police that he lived in New York and came to buy untaxed cigarettes from "Mohammad" at the Quick Mart when they spotted him driving suspiciously near the business while executing a search warrant there. Tran said he had $50,000 with him for that purpose and had been coming once or twice a month for the past four months to do the same, according to an affidavit.

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