Monthly Archives: October 2012

Costa Rica to declare “war” on tobacco smuggling

From: Inside Costa Rica

October 23rd, 2012 ( – The Health Ministry is looking to fight the cigarette smuggling business in Costa Rica, both through existing legislation as well as a new law.

Sisy Castillo, Vice-Minister of Health, said that Costa Rica’s anti-tobacco law and regulation provides legislation to fight the clandestine cigarette market.

Castillo said her ministry is considering an agreement with the Fiscal Police of the Hacienda (Treasury department), and acquiring a computerized system that will verify whether the products sold in supermarkets, mini-markets and other outlets are registered and have the corresponding permits to be sold in Costa Rica.

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Big tobacco has many enablers

From: The Ottawa Citizen

By Ian Dowbiggin

Call it addition by subtraction. The battle against smoking would be closer  to victory if our provincial governments ended their dependence on tobacco taxes  and lawsuits against Big Tobacco.

Last month Prince Edward Island filed suit against tobacco companies to  recoup health care costs going back to 1953, making it just the latest in a long  list of Canadian provinces to do so.

P.E.I. knows its chances for a big payout are good. The industry looks like a  cash-cow to provincial governments desperate for additional revenue.

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Greece: Revenues going up in smoke

From: Focus Information Agency

Athens. Illegal cigarette trading is growing considerably according to a survey by AC Nielsen, which showed that 13.2 percent of cigarettes consumed in April 2012 were not destined for the Greek market, up from 5.1 percent in 2009, Kathimerini reported. Given that in 2011 tobacco product taxes amounted to about 3.9 billion euros, or 8 percent of the country’s revenues, the problem of illegal trading of cigarettes has serious consequences on Greek economy. According to estimates by domestic tobacco industry Papastratos, last year’s losses for state revenues through cigarette smuggling exceeded 350 million euros.

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Three Sentenced on Cigarette Trafficking Charges

From: United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA — One year after a federal indictment charging the Belcorp Corporation, and others, with cigarette trafficking crimes was unsealed, a federal judge sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon sentenced an individual and two corporate defendants for their roles in the scheme.

In October 2011, a federal grand jury charged Roberto Ricieri Ribeiro, Mark Richard Sears, Timothy Ross Stewart, Belcorp of America Inc. and Players International Services Corp. with a variety of crimes related to the illegal trafficking of contraband cigarettes.

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Cigarette smuggler jailed

From: The Rugby Observer

By Dan Santy

A SMUGGLER who attempted to bring in over 13 million counterfeit cigarettes  along with three other men has been jailed for three years.

Long Lawford man Russell Baker was caught in April 2010 entering Dover port  driving refrigerated lorry full of black shrink wrapped pallets containing  millions of cigarettes.

The 49-year-old had documents claiming he was transporting ice cream – but  when customs officers swept the lorry, and another in the same smuggling ring,  they discovered over six million cigarettes with a tax value of over £1  million.

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