Monthly Archives: July 2013

New report demonstrates the extent of tobacco smuggling in Ireland

From: The Irish Times

TD says ‘man on the street’ does not understand implications of illegal cigarettes  

The public needs to be made aware that illegal tobacco smuggling is not a victimless crime, according to a prominent Government TD.

Damien English, the chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said the “man on the street” who buys illegal cigarettes does not understand the implications of such behaviour.

A report by Italian-based researchers Transcrime, published this morning, reveals that Ireland has the third highest rate of tobacco smuggling in Europe, estimated at between 13 per cent and 29 per cent of all tobacco products.

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Va. tobacco store owners get prison time for structuring bank deposits to conceal trafficking

From: Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — A Richmond-area couple convicted of illegally structuring more than $10 million in bank deposits to conceal involvement in illegal cigarette trafficking were sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison.

Defense attorneys asked for even lighter sentences for Jayant and Loveleen Khare of Powhatan County. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson shaved a year and five months off the terms recommended by prosecutors but declined to go any lower because of the enormous proceeds and lengthy duration of the couple’s smuggling scheme.

“This scheme was spread over 12 to 14 months,” Hudson said. “It was not one or two isolated incidents.”

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Tobacco: Crime’s new currency

From: The Daily Caller

Thomas Lesnak, Former ATF Agent

It may shock you to know that smuggled cigarettes command the same net profit  as heroin, and that in dozens of recent government investigations, crooks traded  everything from guns, drugs, counterfeit pharmaceuticals and stolen vehicles — including Lamborghinis — for cigarettes. Cigarette trafficking in America has  reached epidemic levels, because even in limited quantities cigarettes are worth  more than narcotics, and carry less risk of prosecution or meeting a violent  death. Most shocking of all, it is our well-intended tobacco control policies  that created — and continue to fuel — this vast criminal industry.

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Mexico: Contraband cigarettes invade the market

From: Infosurhoy

Contraband cigarettes represent 16.6% of domestic consumption and cost Mexico US$980 million in lost tax revenue annually.

By Sergio Ramos for Infosurhoy.com

MEXICO CITY – They are for sale in kiosks, subway stations, stores, and even on cruises.

Illegal cigarettes smuggled into Mexico account for 16.6% of the market after representing just 2% in 2010, according to a 2012 report by the Confederation of Industrial Chambers (Concamin).

The rise in illegal cigarettes was caused by a 30% tax on legal cigarettes that took effect in January 2011, prompting smokers to opt for cheaper, illegally obtained packs, according to Carlos Humberto Suárez, president of the National Council of the Tobacco Industry (Conainta).

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Illinois Cigarette Tax Falls Short

From: CSPnet.com

Predicted to generate $130 million less than promised revenue   

By Melissa Vonder Haar

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Last June, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase into law, with the promise of $350 million in additional revenue to help rescue the state’s struggling Medicaid program, with additional dollars allocated for Illinois’ School Infrastructure Fund and Long Term Care Provider Fund. However as the fiscal year came to an end on June 30, it appeared as though the increase would fall a significant $130 million short of the original estimate, generating only $212 million.

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