Organised crime syndicates smuggling ‘low risk’ tobacco leaf and cigarettes into Australia

From: Clear The Air News Tobacco Blog

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“Those who were sending drugs are now involved, because the profit is there. We will recognise the mail coming through as being from the same criminal syndicate … over the last 12 months with tobacco we are actually seeing the exporters using the methodologies we would normally see with drugs.”

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Most of the illicit cigarettes, some of which ends up on the shelves of legitimate corner shops, is from South Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong while loose leaf is mostly from Indonesia and the Middle East.

BAT may close South Africa cigarette plant

From: Business Report

Thembisile Dzonzi and Loni Prinsloo

Johannesburg – British American Tobacco said it may close South Africa’s only cigarette plant if plans to ban branded tobacco packaging are implemented.

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Plain packaging threatens the closure of the factory and “poses a threat to the viability of the legal tobacco industry in South Africa,” Heshu said. The move will make it harder to distinguish the cigarettes from black-market cigarettes and “the illegal market will benefit from having a cheaper product,” he said.

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The Effect Of Excise Taxes On Cigarette Smuggling In Wisconsin

From: Wisconsin Public Radio

Tax On A Pack Of Cigarettes Is $2.52 In Wisconsin, Making It The 10th Highest In US

By Shamane Mills

A national nonprofit that wants lower taxes on cigarettes says the high cost encourages smuggling. But health groups say higher taxes reduce cigarette sales and discourage smoking. Caught in between are smokers who pay the taxes and states that rely on that revenue.

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But the national Tax Foundation, a tax policy nonprofit, likens high cigarette taxes to de facto prohibition. They say the higher the taxes, the more likely people are to buy cigarettes in areas with lower taxes and bring them across state lines for sales and consumption.

California’s Gift to Its Neighbors: Expanded Cigarette Smuggling Opportunities

From: Reason.com

They even opened the door to tax-avoiding e-cigarettes!

For too many years, Arizona has led the pack—or at least taxed the hell out of it—with among the higher cigarette taxes in the West. “A cigarette tax higher than in neighboring states and cheaper prices on American Indian reservations have helped fuel a growing black market for cigarettes in Arizona,” the Cronkite News Service reported in 2014.

Tax lost to illegal smokes beats tax gained by legal pot

From: Toronto Sun | Opinion

By

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This Deal of the Century, by the way, also, gave First Nations manufacturers access to importing all the new leaf tobacco and inputs — machinery, foil, et cetera — that allows them to produce high-quality cigarettes uninterrupted and unimpeded.

The result, of course, is that Canada is now swamped with illegal cigarettes because, with price-point being of significant importance, why would a person addicted to cigarettes pay $100-plus for a heavily-taxed carton at a convenience store when a carton can be bought on a reserve for $35?

Using Elemental Analysis Techniques to Detect Metals in Counterfeit Cigarettes and Water Samples and Promote Environmental Education

From: Spectroscopy

By Spectroscopy Editors

The analysis of metals using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), ICP-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), and atomic absorption can serve many purposes in environmental, health, and forensic studies. Yi He, a chemistry professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The City University of New York, has been using these elemental analysis techniques for fingerprinting and provenance of counterfeit cigarettes and as an educational tool. Here, she discusses some of that work. In a recent paper (1), you discuss a method for the investigation of lead and cadmium in counterfeit cigarettes using microwave digestion followed by ICP-MS analysis. What benefits does this method offer compared to others? ” alt=”” />The analysis of metals using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), ICP-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), and atomic absorption can serve many purposes in environmental, health, and forensic studies. Yi He, a chemistry professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The City University of New York, has been using these elemental analysis techniques for fingerprinting and provenance of counterfeit cigarettes and as an educational tool. Here, she discusses some of that work.

Tax-free cigarettes adding to Ontario’s contraband problem

From: Toronto Sun | Guest Columnist

— Christine Van Geyn is the Ontario director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

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And then there’s the real kicker, the Ontario government allocates millions of tax-free cigarettes to smoke shacks on reserves for sale to Status Indians. In fact, they allocate so many cigarettes to reserves that it’s likely only 122 million out of 435 million cigarettes allocated to reserves are sold to Status Indians.

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Cheap illicit tobacco comes at a cost

From: Herald Scotland

David Ross

One in every five smokers in Scotland know that “illicit” or duty free cigarettes or tobacco are being sold locally, but only one in five of them (20 per cent) will report to the authorities.

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But this illegal trade has a cost, with the Treasury losing out on £2.1 billion a year in unpaid duty, quarter of a billion pounds in lost duty in Scotland.

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Anti-illicit survey finds 71% of smokers buying untaxed tobacco [UK]

From: BetterRetailing.com

By Louise Banham

Nearly three-quarters of smokers buy tobacco from sources other than shops, with London, the south-east and the north-west of England the UK’s worst affected areas for non-duty-paid tobacco.

According to a survey of 12,000 smokers around the country, 71% of people who smoke buy cigarettes or rolling tobacco from places other than shops, either legally such as their holiday abroad or the internet, or illegally through car boot sales, vans or people on the street.

Buying Contraband Tobacco Is Not A Victimless Crime

From: 919theBend.ca

Buying contraband tobacco is not a victimless crime.

That’s according to Gary Grant, a spokesperson for the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco.

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