Monthly Archives: May 2012

Tobacco Underground: A Lesson in Collaborating Across Borders

From: Mediashift

by Rosa Ramirez

As the most high-profile international collaboration, WikiLeaks offers some interesting lessons about working with news organizations abroad. But it can be difficult to untangle those lessons from the drama that surrounded the story. And frankly, very few media organizations could pull off a similar effort.

But there’s another international collaboration that has some lessons to share and is less tangled. The Center for Public Integrity’s international collaboration, titled “Tobacco Underground,” was a series of stories written by journalists from Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and the United States. The project found that monies from illegal tobacco sales are helping fund terrorist groups, human trafficking, and getting thousands hooked on tobacco.

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Quinn’s cigarette-tax hike could turn smokers into smugglers

From: Medill Reports (written and produced by graduate journalism students at Northwestern University’s Medill school.)

by LiLi Tan

I don’t buy cigarettes in Chicago. It’s $10 a pack here,” said Murat Kabile, 25, a DePaul University student, who admitted he buys his cigarettes in another county southwest of Cook.

If, however, Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed cigarette tax-hike passes the Senate, Kabile may have to look further, even out of state, to buy his cigarettes at a more affordable price.

Last week, the House approved the legislation in a 60-52 vote to raise cigarette prices by $1 as a public health measure to curb smoking rates and to help fund Medicaid shortfalls.

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High cigarette taxes won’t work in Pennsylvania: too many roads

From: The Morning Call

Paul Carpenter

There was good news a couple of days ago for Kiwi smokers. A plan to increase cigarette prices to $100 a pack ($75 U.S.) has been scrapped, and they will have to pay only $20 a pack ($15 U.S.) by 2016.

New Zealand, already with some of the highest prices in the world, has drastically reduced smoking, from 30 percent of adults in 1986 to about 20 percent now, and officials hope to completely eliminate the filthy habit by 2025.

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Huge haul of tobacco is seized by Customs

From: This is Lancashire

CUSTOMS investigators have seized a massive haul of 200,000 cigarettes and 300kg of tobacco — believed to be smuggled or counterfeit — in an alleged duty-evasion scam.

HM Revenue and Customs officials believe that £75,000 of excise duty was dodged in the operation.

Two men were caught transferring the cigarettes and tobacco from one van to another in Pendlebury Fold, Hunger Hill, at 7.30pm on Thursday.

When the officials interrupted the transfer, they found nearly 300kg of hand rolling tobacco and 200,000 cigarettes, along with a “large quantity” of cash.

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Nine arrested in multi million pound cigarette and drug smuggling investigation

From: This is Surrey Today

A MAN from Surrey was among nine men arrested by officers investigating millions of pounds worth of drug and cigarette smuggling at a Heathrow freight warehouse.

The arrests were made on Friday (May 25) after around 90 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officers searched the Heathrow warehouse, homes and businesses as part of Operation Bypass.

Eight residential and three business properties in Frimley in Surrey; Southall, Stanmore and West Drayton in Middlesex; High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire and Luton in Bedfordshire were searched as part of the enquiry.

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