Counterfeit Cigarettes Finance North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons

From: Voice of America

Executions, Brutal Purges Prompted High-level North Korean Official to Defect

Baik Sungwon
Senior North Korean defector Ri Jong Ho, who worked for the North Korean government for about 30 years, speaks with VOA Korean Service’s Baik Sungwon.

[VOA] Editor’s Note: In a two-part series, VOA’s Korean Service spoke with senior-level North Korean defector Ri Jong Ho in his first public interview since his defection in late 2014.


Because banking activities are severely restricted due to heavy sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear weapons development, North Korean officials must open bank accounts under false names in order to trade.

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Contraband Kills

From: Grimsby Telegraph

Illegal Jin Ling cigarettes linked to pensioner’s death seized in raids

Trading Standards officers in Grimsby have seized the first red packs of Jin Ling cigarettes found in the UK, a Russian brand linked to the death of a pensioner

A brand of illegal cigarettes that were connected to the death of a pensioner have been seized in Grimsby in a council trading standards operation.

The Russian-made Jin Ling cigarettes were discovered by North East Lincolnshire Council Trading Standards officers.

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WHO Prohibits Sanctions Against Illicit Cigarette Vendors, Key Suppliers of Tobacco to Kids

From: Convenience & Impulse Retailing [Australia]


Tobacco suppliers have been denied the ability to impose restrictive sanctions on retailers or wholesalers suspected of selling illicit tobacco products.

The ACCC announced the joint proposal by British American Tobacco, Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco would not be allowed to proceed on the basis that such an arrangement would give the tobacco companies a quasi-regulatory role inconsistent which could violate the World Health Organization Guidelines for Australia’s obligations relating to tobacco control.

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America’s Ban on Menthol Cigarettes Starts in San Francisco, CA, Not Washington, DC

From: Winston-Salem Journal

Analysts question whether planned San Francisco ban on menthol flavorings could have ripple effect

Menthol and other flavored tobacco products are being targeted for a sales ban in San Francisco, potentially setting the first U.S. precedent on the controversial topic.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the city’s Board of Supervisors are scheduled to take a final vote on the ordinance this week, with Mayor Ed Lee pledging to sign it.

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Illicit cigarettes boosting smoking rate

From: Ceylon Today

By Nishel Fernando

Overall smoking in Sri Lanka is on the rise despite the government’s heavy regulations and high taxes, driven mostly by the arrival of record levels of illicit fags to the country.

Speaking exclusively to Ceylon FT, Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) MD and CEO Michael Koset said, “Total smoking in Sri Lanka is growing slightly year after year. The government’s tax hike has only resulted in a shift in smoking from legal cigarettes to illicit fags and beedi.”

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