From: Press Release
Dubai , UAE – May 22, 2013:
The dilemma facing GCC finance ministers as they deliberate over a 100% increase in duty on tobacco products is underlined by a White Paper published today which spotlights growth in illicit trade, beyond the control of police and customs authorities, as an inevitable consequence of a sharp overnight rise in the cost of cigarettes.
Based on a round table discussion examining the impact of a new tobacco tax on smoking, and the effects on trade and social stability, the White Paper finds no evidence that a one-step, 100% overnight increase in duty on tobacco products will significantly affect consumption levels or smoking propensity.
From: New York Post
By RAYMOND W. KELLY and THOMAS FARLEY
Last week’s indictment by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of 16 members of a multimillion-dollar cigarette-smuggling ring underscores the serious nature of cigarette trafficking in New York City. Recent arrests linking the ring members to organized crime and terrorist organizations make it clear that New York needs stronger enforcement of tobacco laws.
While it hasn’t been established yet where the illicit proceeds in last week’s case ended up, we are concerned because similar schemes have been used in the past to help fund terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. While our federal partners continue to investigate the money trail, the NYPD has arrested the principals in this massive scheme.
From: Malaysa Sun
• All sixteen accused are Palestinian immigrants
• Charged with enterprise corruption, money laundering
• All of them face 25 years in prison
NEW YORK – Authorities in New York are claiming to have busted a multi-million cigarette smuggling ring and arrested at least 16 Palestinian immigrants having alleged links with known terror organisations.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Thursday said that the 16 members of the criminal ring in New York City, Albany County and Schenectady County were caught with more than a million cartons of untaxed cigarettes illegally imported from Virginia.
From: Associated Press
DOVER, Del. — A man arrested in Delaware in the takedown of an alleged East Coast cigarette smuggling ring that authorities believe may have funneled money to terrorist groups is being held on $12.5 million cash bail.
Adel Abuzahrieh of Staten Island, N.Y., is being held Friday at the Sussex Correctional Institute in Georgetown, two days after troopers arrested the 47-year-old during a traffic stop on Route 1 near Milford. Police say they found 201 cases of cigarettes in the box truck he was driving and seized between $15,000 and $20,000 in cash.
by Mary Murphy, Reporter
NEW YORK (PIX11) – PIX11 News reported more than eight years ago about links between cigarette smuggling and the financing of terrorism.
In 2004, we secured undercover surveillance tape of New York State agents monitoring a warehouse operation between Northern Virginia and New York City. The suspects — later convicted — used to make weekly trips from the Virginia warehouse, carrying 50,000 cartons in their rental trucks. At the time, they could buy a carton of cigarettes in Virginia for $20, instead of the $75 it then cost in New York. The smugglers cleared $2 million in profits with every load.
Editor’s Note: CRE has long warned about the use of cigarette smuggling to fund transnational terrorist organizations. New York City Police Commissioner Kelly agrees.
From: New York Daily News
Some of the arrested have links to Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind sheik, and Rashid Baz, who opened fire on a van of Yeshiva students on the Brooklyn Bridge, killing Ari Halberstam. ‘We’re concerned because similar schemes have been used in the past to help fund terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah,’ says Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
By Greg B. Smith
Authorities fear a regional cigarette smuggling ring was funneling a fortune to terrorist groups in the Middle East, the city’s top cop said Thursday.
From: Providence Journal
PROVIDENCE — A federal magistrate judge Tuesday ordered two men charged with being part of an interstate cigarette smuggling ring held without bail.
Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond denied a bail request by Wissam Khalil and continued a hearing for his brother, Bassam Khalil.
In Wissam Khalil’s case, Almond cited the fact that Wissam Khalil was on bail from an April 2012 state cigarette smuggling charge when he was indicted on the federal smuggling charges last week.
Bassam Khalil’s status hearing was continued to give him time to hire a lawyer.
From: CBS 6/WTVR.com
HENRICO, Va. (WTVR)–On the 7500 block of Woodman Road in Henrico, most neighbors have been there for decades, and most yards are kept in pristine condition, in all but one house.
Neighbors say the house has only been occupied a few months. Sheets went up to over the screens on the back porch almost immediately and vans transporting large boxes come and go frequently. But on Friday more than the length of the grass drew neighbor’s attention to the house.
By Greg Madison
If you think you’re in the wrong line of work, and barely making ends meet, maybe what you should be doing is running cigarettes north along the I-95 corridor, from Virginia to New York.
No, seriously – because some enterprising individuals have a lucrative sideline doing just that.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has even put an exact number on just how lucrative.
The ATF says smugglers could make $1,944,000 running just one truckload of cigarettes from a low-tax jurisdiction like Virginia to a high-tax jurisdiction like New York.
Abdullah Alnahahs, 36, of Cranston, is among seven men caught in a sweep by federal agents.
They drove to Virginia, bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of cigarattes each with a 35 cent per pack tax in that state, brought them back to Rhode Island with its $3.50 per pack tax and made huge profits.
That’s the crux of a indictiment that alleges seven men, including a 36-year-old Cranston man, carried out a scheme to sell cigarettes they bought in Virginia here in Rhode Island, costing the state millions in lost tax revenue.