Monthly Archives: February 2012

Half of Cigarettes Sold in City are Bootleg, DA Says


By Meredith Hoffman

BROOKLYN — Just because New York City has the highest cigarette tax in the nation, doesn’t mean people are paying it.

Half the city’s cigarettes are sold with fake tax stamps or with no tax stamps at all, according to the New York City Department of Finance. So when consumers pay the “tax money” of $5.85 per pack, the profits end up in the pockets of bootleggers — and the city loses half a billion tax dollars a year.

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Minnesota’s cigarette tax: Trouble from the beginning

From: Minnesota Star-Tribune


Raise it, and people will try to avoid it. And that often will lead to smuggling.

Earlier this month, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that it had broken up a ring that smuggled millions of packs of cigarettes from Virginia to New Jersey, where state officials estimate that bootleg cigarettes constitute 40 percent of the market.

“The trafficking of contraband tobacco is all about greed from the enormous profits that can be made by engaging in such criminal activity” said Special Agent in Charge Matthew Horace.

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‘Hike in sin taxes will lead to smuggling’

From: (Philippines)

MANILA, Philippines – Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) president Jesus Aranza on Tuesday warned the government that increasing the excise taxes for tobacco may result to proliferation of smuggling that will eventually lead to the demise of local industries.

Aranza attended Tuesday’s congressional hearing of the committee on ways and means as a resource person on the economic impact of the proposed House Bill 5727.

He said smuggling incidence in the country will rise should Congress pass the bill that seeks to impose steep excise tax rates on alcohol and tobacco products. “If you put high tax on cigarette, or on anything, it creates an atmosphere, a haven of smuggled goods,” Aranza said.

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Port of Felixstowe cigarette smuggling gang jailed

From: BBC

Seven members of a smuggling gang who illegally imported 20m cigarettes disguised as toys through a Suffolk port have been jailed.

The operation, described as complex and sophisticated, was planned to avoid £3.3m in importation duty, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

The group were caught at the Port of Felixstowe in November 2009.

They received sentences of between two and four-and-a-half years for conspiracy to evade excise duty.

Paul O’Meara, 48, of Sudbury, Suffolk, was described as the “lynchpin” of the scheme which was bankrolled by 47-year-old Robert Doran, a millionaire businessman who lived in Dubai.

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Black market accounts for a quarter of tobacco

From: The Grocer (UK)

By Ronan Hegarty

More than a quarter of all tobacco smoked in the UK is either fake or smuggled – costing the country billions of pounds in lost tax revenue.

The latest figures from Japan Tobacco International show that although HMRC has enjoyed some success in tackling illicit tobacco, counterfeit and smuggled tobacco is still a major problem, with up to 27% of all tobacco smoked being non-UK duty paid.

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