Monthly Archives: March 2013

A cross-border accident waiting to happen

From: Ottawa Citizen

By Brian Lee Crowley

Canada should be uneasy about large-scale smuggling across the border.

Because keeping the border open and goods flowing with our U.S. neighbours is  practically the definition of Canada’s economic self-interest, anything that  attracts the unfavourable attention of Washington to our border is to be avoided  at all costs. Just ask the Mexicans.

That’s why we should all be uneasy about large-scale smuggling across the  border, especially where it involves, as it almost always does, organized  crime.

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Cross-Border Smuggling Epidemic Exposes Canada, U.S. to Security Threats, New MLI Study Warns

Editor’s Note:  The MLI study, BORDER INTEGRITY, ILLICIT TOBACCO, AND CANADA’S SECURITY by Jean Daudelin with Stephanie Soiffer and Jeff Willows, is attached here.

From: Press Release

Perpetuating the status quo is both irresponsible and dangerous; it would effectively surrender control of a wide swath of the Canada-U.S. border to organized crime factions that control the contraband trade in tobacco.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, Mar 27, 2013 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Far from a victimless crime or a local police problem, cross-border smuggling is an epidemic that renders both Canada and the United States vulnerable to external security threats, a study released and commissioned by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) warned today.

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The Laffer Curve Bites Ireland in the Butt

From: Cato Institute

By Daniel J. Mitchell

Cigarette butt, to be specific.

All over the world, governments impose draconian taxes on tobacco, and then they are surprised when projected revenues don’t materialize. We’ve seen this in Bulgaria and Romania, and we’ve seen this Laffer Curve effect in Washington, DC, and Michigan.

Even the Government Accountability Office has found big Laffer Curve effects from tobacco taxation.

And now we’re seeing the same result in Ireland.

Here are some details from an Irish newspaper.

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Melbourne new hot spot for tabacco smugglers: Customs

From: Herld Sun

TOBACCO smugglers are targeting Melbourne following record shipments  of “chop chop” and cigarette seizures at Sydney’s docks.

Customs warns Melbourne is the new hot spot for crime gangs shipping  cigarettes from Asia and Europe.

Customs regional director of Victoria, Graham Krishof, said shipments were  becoming more frequent and syndicates were using sophisticated techniques to  hide the contraband.

“There have been more tobacco shipments in Melbourne following a number of  detections in Sydney,” Mr Krishof said.

“We do not see big seizures in sea cargo as a daily occurrence, but when we  do the shipments are getting bigger. And we are seeing very sophisticated  techniques to hide things.”

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Baldwin Park Resident Charged in Pot and Counterfeit Cigarette Scheme

Editor’s Note:  The following story demonstrates the nationwide scope in the U.S. of counterfeit cigarette trafficking by transnational criminal organizations.   Another lesson from the story is that illicit cigarette trafficking supports other crimes such as drug trafficking.

From: BaldwinParkPatch

Kit Poon, 42, of Baldwin Park is among eleven Los Angeles-area residents charged in a federal indictment unsealed today in New York.

Eleven Los Angeles-area residents, including one from Baldwin Park, are among 37 defendants charged in a federal indictment unsealed today in New York targeting a Southeast Asian marijuana and counterfeit cigarette trafficking organization that operated nationwide.

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