Dominican, US Customs seize 8.0M cigarettes in container

Editor’s Note: Where were the cigarettes made?

From: Dominican Today

Santo Domingo.- The Customs Agency on Wednesday announced the confiscation 8.0 million cigarettes found in a container camouflaged as a cargo of fabrics, which entered the country at Haina Oriental Port from Miami.

Customs director Enrique Ramírez accompanied by officials of the US Customs and Border Protection for ports cooperation and executives of the local cigarette manufacturers grouped in ASOCIGAR opened the container with the alleged contraband.

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An empire of smuggled smokes

From: Crain’s New York Business | Opinion

New York’s cigarette taxes have sparked a huge black market and should be rolled back

By Michael LaFaive and Todd Nesbit

New York has ostensibly made the health of its people and its treasuries a priority by maintaining high cigarette taxes, but these taxes come with a cost.

The state’s high cigarette taxes have led to rampant tax evasion and avoidance and other ugly, unintended consequences.

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NJ teacher loses license after trying to sell weapons to terrorists

From: NJ101.5

By Adam Hochron

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Robert Johnson, the Bronx district attorney at the time, said Burroughs had agreed to sell 13 weapons including assault rifles and hand guns, and had also bought 27,000 cartons of what he believed were untaxed cigarettes during exchanges with undercover officers. In addition to the weapons, he also had offered to sell explosives, night-vision goggles and illegal drugs.

Johnson said Burroughs believed the officers he was dealing with were connected to the terrorist organization Hamas, and had expressed support for them and other terror groups.

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Smuggled smokes pays for terrorism

From: The West Australian

Charles Miranda Sydney

Organised crime syndicates trafficking drugs such as ice and cocaine are now smuggling tobacco leaf and cigarettes and funnelling the cash back to terrorist groups.

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And such is the “low-risk, high-return” market, Federal law enforcement has credible evidence money from tobacco trafficking is supporting terrorist groups in the Middle East.

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Time for a National Strategy on Illicit Tobacco

From: British American Tobacco (Australia)

British American Tobacco Australia (BATA) has called upon the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement (PJCLE) to recommend the Government adopt a National Illicit Tobacco Strategy.

BATA spokesperson Joshua Fett said that Australian taxpayers are already haemorrhaging $1.49 billion to criminals each year, and unless the Government acts now this number will likely top $3 billion by 2020.

“The current patchwork of responsibilities and enforcement tools simply doesn’t contemplate sophisticated criminal networks responsible for tobacco smuggling,” Mr Fett said. “A National Illicit Tobacco Strategy would provide clarity to government departments and law enforcement agencies on roles and responsibilities.

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