From: CBC News
Despite crackdown, bootleg smokes still on rise, especially in Eastern Canada
Contraband tobacco is still a big problem in Canada, says a group partly funded by businesses that make or sell cigarettes.
Despite new powers given police to crack down on contraband dealers, sales of bootleg smokes are on the rise in Atlantic Canada, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco said Tuesday at an Ottawa news conference.
The coalition said criminal organizations in Ontario and Quebec have also adapted to new laws designed to curb the problem.
From: Greek Reporter
By Maria Arkouli
The bulk tobacco ban of 2013, reminds of the ban imposed in Greece 130 years ago as the country’s financial crimes squad SDOE is again trying to crack down on the elusive crime of tobacco smuggling, which has a long history in the country.
Tobacco differs from other products, such as potatoes or tomatoes, which are placed on the market outside the circuit of intermediaries, because its use requires special processing and preparation, as well as because it is a product subject to special taxation, which has given it a different place in the Greek society.
From: The Globe and Mail
Federal government urged to rethink Cornwall border crossing’s relocation
KATHRYN BLAZE CARLSON
The Ontario government is pressing Ottawa to reconsider plans to move a crucial Canadian border crossing to the United States amid concerns it would open Canada’s doors to smuggled guns, illegal immigrants and contraband tobacco.
If the crossing is moved from Cornwall, Ont., to Massena, N.Y., critics point out there would no longer be a checkpoint on Canadian territory to prevent smugglers from moving goods off an already permeable Cornwall Island into mainland Ontario.
From: National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco
OTTAWA, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ – The National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) is pleased that the province of Ontario is committing to further action against illegal cigarettes.
“There is more contraband tobacco in Ontario than any other province, and it is important that government take concrete and meaningful action to address this problem” said Gary Grant, a 39-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and national spokesperson for the NCACT. “Illegal cigarettes have serious social consequences. Their low cost – a ‘baggie’ of 200 cigarettes often costs less than a movie ticket – combined with the fact that contraband dealers don’t check ID, make illegal cigarettes a prime source for youth smoking. Illegal cigarettes are a cash cow for organized crime, with the RCMP estimating that about 175 criminal gangs use the trade to finance their other activities, including guns, drugs and human smuggling.”
Submitted by Cindy Tweed
On Thursday, small-business owners came up with their focus at the package of anti-smoking legislation of the New York City Council. Bodegas and convenience stores’ representatives said in Lower Manhattan at a Council hearing that the new plans may make it hard to get cigarettes from legitimate businesses.
The proposal is included in the antismoking legislation, which says that the minimum age for the purchase of cigarettes should be raised to 21. The aim is to reduce the number of smokers and keep teenagers away from starting smoking.
US device will screen for fake medicines overseas
US agency lends counterfeit detection device to Ghana in effort to combat fake malaria pills.
US health officials are making a high-tech screening device available in Africa to help spot counterfeit malaria pills in hopes that the technology may eventually be used to combat the fake drug trade worldwide.
The Food and Drug Administration announced that US partners in Ghana will begin using a US -developed handheld device to screen for fake or diluted versions of two common malaria pills.
From: South China Morning Post
Officers seize HK$24m worth of cigarettes and tobacco destined for Australian market
Customs officers smashed an international smuggling syndicate, seizing HK$24 million worth of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco.
The 9.3 million cigarettes and 90kg of tobacco were found in a container that arrived in Hong Kong from Port Kelang in Malaysia via Singapore.
Wan Hing-chuen, who heads customs’ illicit tobacco investigation unit, said the goods were apparently destined for Australia – “Made in Germany for the Australian market” was printed on the packaging.
From: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Alexis Stevens
More than $1.3 million in unpaid tobacco taxes was collected and 49 defendants sentenced during an extensive crackdown that spanned several counties and lasted years, the state Attorney General said Wednesday. The final defendant pleaded guilty Tuesday.
A three-year investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Atlanta Field Division uncovered the illegal tobacco trafficking ring, and the defendants were arrested on or shortly after Oct. 19, 2011. All were charged with violations of state law involving the illegal possession, sale and distribution of contraband cigarettes, Attorney General Sam Olens said.
From: Canada News Wire
Today, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) called on the government to take meaningful action against illicit cigarettes in the upcoming provincial budget. Over the last two weeks, NCACT representatives were in Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Mississauga, Ottawa and Toronto to talk to residents about Ontario’s illegal cigarette problem. In all, after speaking with NCACT, almost 2000 people signed a postcard to Premier Wynne calling for more government action.