Plain Packs: Helping Ease the Lives of Tobacco Traffickers

From: Talking Retail

Plain packs already boosting illicit tobacco trade, TMA survey finds

The introduction of plain packaging and the ban on small tobacco packs is already driving people to buy cheap, black market tobacco, according to a new survey by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA).

The findings come one day before new tobacco regulations come into force on 20 May, after which date retailers will only be able to sell tobacco in standardised packaging, in a minimum pack size of 20 for cigarettes and 30g packs for roll-your-own tobacco.

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Contraband Cigarettes: The Violence Increases, Even in New Zealand


Police respond to a lucrative and increasingly dangerous contraband – cigarettes


CCTV footage of an aggravated robbery at the Kingsford Superette in Mangere, south Auckland.


Robbers attacked the owner of Jellicoe Park Dairy with a screwdriver.

As the prices of cigarettes go up, they have become the primary target of many armed robbers. Never mind the cash in the till, they know they can sell cartons of cigarettes for big money in darkened corners of dodgy pubs.
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A Nexus to Violent Organized Crime: Virginia Gas Station Owner & Cigarette Trafficking

Editor’s Note: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives prioritizes tobacco diversion cases with “a nexus to violent organized crime.” See ATF Fact Sheet here.

From: Department of Justice/U.S. Attorney’s Office—Eastern District of Virginia

Fredericksburg Gas Station Owner Pleads Guilty to Cigarette Trafficking

RICHMOND, Va. – A Fredericksburg man pleaded guilty today to participating in a conspiracy to traffic contraband cigarettes.

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Counterfeit/Untaxed/Illegal Cigarettes = Youth Smoking

From: South China Morning Post | Comment/Letters

Cheap cigarettes in Hong Kong could tempt more teens to smoke

Recently, while visiting a grocery store in Wong Tai Sin, I noticed some obscure brands of cigarettes priced as low as HK$29 per pack. I then learned from smokers I spoke to that these cheap brands were available in a number of shops and news stands in Wong Tai Sin and Tsz Wan Shan.

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Cigarette Smugglers Receive Token Punishment in Minnesota

Editor’s Note: To understand why cigarette smuggling is crime against children, see here.

From: KROC | AM1340

Cigarette Smugglers Sentenced

By Andy Brownell

St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News)  – Two Illinois men will be on probation for five years and have been ordered to pay over $74,000 in restitution to the State of Minnesota for smuggling cigarettes.

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