21 People Indicted in $15 Million Tax Fraud Scheme that Forged Millions of Tax Stamps for Cigarettes from North Carolina

From: Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark

Takedown by Bronx DA, New York State Tax Dept., Homeland Security Investigations and NJ Treasury Office of Criminal Investigation Yields
Equipment and Trove of Forged Tax Stamps

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion, Brian Michael, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations Newark; and New Jersey State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio today announced that a joint investigation has resulted in indictments charging 21 people with forging millions of cigarette tax stamps and trafficking in illegal cigarettes that resulted in the evasion of more than $15 million in taxes and undercutting small businesses.

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“We think globally”: the rise of Paraguay’s Tabacalera del Este as a threat to global tobacco control

Editor’s Note: Cross-posted from the Counterfeit Cigarette Study Forum. See also Arrests Again Point to Paraguay President’s Contraband Cigarettes.

From: Globalization and Health

Benoît Gomis, Kelley Lee, Natalia Carrillo Botero, Philip Shepherd and Roberto Magno Iglesias

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Results

Tabesa became the largest cigarette manufacturer in Paraguay, and one of the largest companies in the country, through complicity in the illicit trade. Enabled by market conditions created by leading TTCs, and a permissive regulatory environment in Paraguay, evidence suggests Tabesa had become a major source of illicit cigarettes across Latin America and beyond by the late 2000s. Although Brazil continues to account for the bulk of Tabesa’s revenues, findings suggest that the company is aspiring to compete with TTCs in markets worldwide through legal and illegal sales.

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France’s failure to tackle cigarette smuggling threatens Europe’s safety

From: EuroNews

By Tomáš Zdechovský

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Around 30% of the total originates from a single country: Algeria. According to the report, the flow of legally manufactured cigarettes in Algeria smuggled to France increased by 300% between 2012 and 2016, raising concerns in Brussels over the billions of euros lost from the French and European budgets.

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The rejection of the EU’s help and the increased flow of contraband coming from Algeria have a direct consequence for neighbouring countries, especially Italy and Spain. They are used as secondary routes for smuggling cigarettes produced in Algeria into France. It has also a much bigger impact; by fuelling terrorist and criminal networks in the Maghreb region where these cigarettes are smuggled from.

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Probe into whether selling counterfeit cigarettes ‘a cover’ in father-of-one’s murder

From: Independent.ie

Ken Foy

Gardaí investigating the murder of street trader Clive Staunton are probing whether his involvement in the lucrative counterfeit cigarette market may have led to his death.

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A major line of enquiry is whether the widower was involved in a “serious dispute” with dissident Republicans because of a major row over the distribution of black market cigarettes in the capital.

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Will Cheap, Illicit Alcohol Flood America?

From: The Moscow Times (Russia)

125K Bottles of Bootleg Booze Busted in St. Petersburg

Police have uncovered a storage house with 125,000 bottles of bootleg alcohol in the city of St. Petersburg, Russian media have reported.

Fake labels, empty containers, corks and excise stamps were seized, police told the RBC news website Friday.

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