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Purchase, N.Y., MasterCard issued an urgent statement to on-line merchants to comply with rules governing the sale of tobacco over the Internet. The payment company cautioned that such sales have a high likelihood of including illegal activity, such as wire and mail fraud, contraband trafficking, counterfeiting, money laundering or tariff smuggling.
MasterCard said its financial institutions can continue to accept Internet tobacco sales, if they have documented evidence to substantiate that the merchant is in compliance with all applicable laws.