Monthly Archives: December 2012

Letter: Fake cigs warning

From: Newmarket Journal

We understand that this time of year can be expensive and that people will look to tighten their belts in other ways, searching for cheaper alternatives when it comes to everyday goods and necessities.

Cheaper cigarettes is something individuals may be tempted to try and obtain, with much of this purchased from ‘the man on the street’ or ‘the back of a van’.

Much of this content is very often counterfeit or contains illicit tobacco, which is not only illegal to sell in this country, but can also be dangerous, as illicit tobacco can sometimes contain chemicals such as rat poison.

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Cigarette packets reform would hit small traders like me, says Nork Londis manager

From: Surrey Mirror

By Chris Madden

CHANGES aimed at cutting smoking in the UK will hit small shops and help counterfeit tobacco sellers, a trader has said.

The Government is consulting on plans to enforce a uniform design for all cigarette packets, which would be a single colour with nothing but a brand name and a health warning.

This follows the move in April this year that forces supermarkets to keep shutters closed over cigarette display cases, and which will come into effect in small shops in 2015.

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Fake fags send shop profits up in smoke

From: The Bristol Post

By Daniel Evans

ONE in eight cigarettes smoked in Bristol is either smuggled into the city or counterfeit, new figures have revealed.

Shops in and around Bristol are losing thousands of pounds worth of trade every year to the growing criminal business.

A recent study found that 12.5 per cent of cigarettes smoked in Bristol are either smuggled or “illicit” cigarettes – not including hand-rolled tobacco – which rose from 10.3 per cent last year.

And Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) estimates £3.1 billion is lost in revenue per year nationwide as a result of the trade.

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Measures against cigarette smuggling in Bulgaria yield results


By Svetla Dimitrova for Southeast European Times from Sofia

The measures Bulgaria has taken to fight cigarette smuggling are yielding results, according to the national Customs Agency.

A total of 80 million contraband cigarettes have been seized since the beginning of this year, the Sofia-based agency told SETimes.

It listed “regular meetings with big manufacturers and traders of tobacco goods” among the host of measures initiated by the customs administration, as part of the stepped-up efforts in the fight against cigarette smuggling.

“A total of 691 pre-trial proceedings were launched between January and October 2012,” the agency said.

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Staffordshire people urged to be vigilant over counterfeit alcohol risk ahead of new year celebrations

Editor’s Note:  As is true for counterfeit cigarettes, counterfeit alcohol is also a threat to public health.  The notion of counterfeiting as a “victimless” crime that only harms tax authorities is a myth.

Staffordshire people preparing for new year festivities are being urged to be vigilant if buying alcohol to avoid potentially lethal counterfeit products.

The county council’s continuing operation to stamp out the sale of counterfeit alcohol has resulted in 21 prosecutions and licence reviews which have led to shop keepers having licences revoked and fines. The largest fine handed out was £10,000.

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