Monthly Archives: March 2012

Study to Examine Cigarette Smuggling in Virginia

From: The Flat Hat (College of William & Mary)

According to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, the Virginia legislature commissioned a study that would examine cigarette smuggling in the state. Virginia levies a 30 cent tax per pack of cigarettes, the second lowest in the nation behind Missouri which collects 17 cents per pack. The low rate has resulted in a sizable black market of Virginia-purchased cigarettes in neighboring states with much higher taxes such as Maryland ($2 per pack), New Jersey ($2.70 per pack), D.C. ($2.50 per pack), and New York ($4.35 per pack).

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Tobacco duty goes up in smoke

From: EuroWeekly

LAST year tax authority Hacienda missed out on €1,279 million in duty on contraband tobacco, not to mention VAT.

High taxes on tobacco encourage smuggling, the tobacco companies claim, although Spanish experts disagree.

The economic crisis is responsible for first drop in tobacco revenue for 25 years as thousands turned to smuggling to make ends meet, they said.

A common entry points for contraband tobacco is Gibraltar, where a carton of cigarettes costs €25 compared to €42 in Spain.

There is 40 per cent unemployment in La Linea and residents bringing in the cheaper product can make a profit either by selling it themselves or working for others.

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Illicit cigarettes fund terrorism

From: Malaya Business Insight

CIGARETTE smuggling has now become a major security concern for many countries because terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda are turning to this illicit trade to finance their criminal activities, according to a study done b by a global non-profit tax research foundation.

Citing findings by the US Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco (AFT), the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC) reported that “organized” criminal groups, including those with ties to terrorist organizations, are engaged in illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products, including counterfeit tobacco products.”

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Egypt’s smuggled cigarettes heighten cancer risk: Report

From: AhramOnline

Chemicals causing additional health problems are present in illicit cigarette brands, new government research claims

Cigarettes smuggled into Egypt include chemicals that can further heighten the risk of cancer for smokers, claims a new study by the National Research Centre (NRC).

Egypt’s largest cigarette-maker, Eastern Company, commissioned the Cairo-based NRC to examine the components of smuggled cigarettes which typically retail for less than half the price of licenced brands.
Made outside the country then brought in illegally, bypassing tax and health regulations, such cigarettes are estimated to make up 20 per cent of Egypt’s market, British American Tobacco said recently.
NRC’s study include 10 smuggled brands, including ‘Malimbo’, ‘MJ’ and ‘Roseman’.
The centre subsequently issued a letter to “whom it may concern” indicating that one particular component they found could “lead to irregularities in cell split which increases the possibility of developing malignancy”.
Another component causing “harmful effects to the neurosystem” was also identified by Egypt’s largest governmental research body.
Consumers interviewed by Ahram Online, however, were dismissive of such findings.
Mahmoud El-Shazly, in his early 40s, had since his teenage years smoked Cleopatras, Egypt’s most popular cigarette, made by the state-owned Eastern Company.
Nine months ago he shifted to Malimbo. He totally dismissed claims about the “extra-harmful” side-effects of his new choice.
“They keep on saying it causes all sorts of bad stuff but that’s not true,” the public worker insisted. “This cigarette tastes better and it’s much cheaper.”
Malimbo typically sells at LE4 per pack while Cleopatra retails for LE7.
Cigarette smuggling has surged since the outbreak of Egypt’s uprising in January 2011 and the partial collapse of former president Hosni Mubarak’s security forces.
Only three companies are licenced to make and sell cigarettes in Egypt; the current market leader Eastern Company, British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International.
In a move to combat cigarette smuggling, Egypt’s government said last week that all local cigarette manufacturers would be obliged to stamp their products by the beginning of June.
Company officials, however, say such efforts will do little to solve the problem that has cost them precious market share.
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Campaign to target illegal tobacco in region launched


By Hugh Morris

A CAMPAIGN to stop illegal tobacco being sold to children at “pocket money prices” across the region will be launched next month.

The first effort in the east of England to clamp down on bootleg, smuggled and counterfeit tobacco will target the criminals who sell the cigarettes for as little as £2.75 for a 20-pack, as well as trying to educate young people about the dangers of fake tobacco.

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