Monthly Archives: October 2016

Police: North African native used Brandermill store as front in $1M cigarette smuggling scheme

From: Richmond Times-Dispatch

By MARK BOWES Richmond Times-Dispatch

A native of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in northwest Africa has been charged in a major cigarette smuggling operation in Chesterfield County in which police said he purchased more than $1 million in Virginia cigarettes over 18 months that were transported to New York and resold for substantial gain.

Ahmed Salem Leweisy, 31, who was living in a Midlothian apartment during the time of the scheme, opened a tobacco store in the Market Place shopping center in Brandermill as a front for his operation, police said.

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Hawks: Illegal trade of cigarettes a crisis [South Africa]

From:EyeWitnessNews

The Hawks say the trade of illegal cigarettes needs more attention, particularly near borders.

Kgomotso Modise

JOHANNESBURG – The Hawks have declared the illegal trade of cigarettes a crisis, as more police officers are getting involved.

An officer, a paramedic and a former South African Revenue Service official were arrested earlier this week for colluding with suspected illegal cigarette smugglers.

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Tax gap data exposes growth in missing tobacco duty [UK]

From: betterRetailing.com

By Chloe Taylor

Illicit cigarette consumption reached a five year high in 2016, causing a £600m jump in lost duty.

HMRC’s 2016 tax gap report estimated that £2.4bn of duty was lost in 2015-16 to the illicit tobacco trade – up from £1.8bn the previous year.

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“Consumption of illegal cigarettes is at a level not seen since 2010-11, with 5 billion sticks consumed in 2015-16,” he said. “The amount of illegal and counterfeit tobacco that is now easily available on our streets is truly appalling.  This is a massive problem and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

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Ukrainian National Pleads Guilty to Contraband Cigarettes

From: US DOJ/US Attorney’s Office Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Ukrainian national pleaded guilty in federal court today to transporting thousands of cartons of cigarettes from Missouri to Chicago, Ill., in order to avoid paying nearly $160,000 in excise taxes.

Yevhen Sychikov, 32, a citizen of Ukraine residing in Chicago, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to the interstate transportation of contraband cigarettes.

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National Federation of Retail Newsagents calls for more action to tackle illicit tobacco market [UK]

From: Talking Retail

The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) has called for more action to tackle the illicit tobacco market, following the publication of HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) Tax Gaps 2016 report showing that its consumption was rising.

The report revealed that while overall cigarette consumption was falling, the consumption of illicit tobacco increased to a five year high, representing a loss to the Treasury of £2.4bn in tax revenue.

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