Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cigarette Smuggling Cuts States’ Per-Pack Tax Revenues

Editor’s Note:  While State revenues are declining, terrorist organization revenues from cigarette smuggling are up.

From: Stateline/Pew Charitable Trusts


By Elaine S. Povich

Over the past decade, almost every state has raised cigarette taxes, sometimes multiple times. The health benefits are undeniable, but the benefits to states’ revenues are not as clear-cut.

In 2010, states with high tobacco taxes lost about $5 billion in revenue because of cigarette smuggling, according to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Experts say the number is climbing.

Leave a comment

Cigarette smugglers on flight from Lithuania were caught when fellow passengers suspected their specially adapted waistcoats were ‘fat suits’

From: Daily Mail

  • The smugglers had  3,800 cigarettes stashed in their waistcoats
  • They had  specially adapted deep pockets to conceal the large packets
  • Almost 24,000  cigarettes were found in their hand luggage
  • Border  officials said it was an ‘unusual and quite convincing’ concealment

By Becky Evans

Tobacco smugglers who hid thousands of  illicit cigarettes in specially adapted waistcoats on a flight from Lithuania  were caught out because fellow passengers thought they were wearing ‘fat suits’.

Leave a comment

DHS/ICE Official: MN Cigarette Tax Increase Could Fuel Black Market

Editor’s Note: A discussion of Special Agent in Charge Michael Feinberg and Homeland Security Investigations may be found here.

From: KAAL ABC 6 News

By: Naomi Pescovitz

Officials: MN Cigarette Tax Increase Could Fuel Black Market

This legislative session, Minnesota lawmakers voted to raise taxes on cigarettes.

Starting July 1, the total tax in Minnesota will be $2.83 per pack, which is $1.60 higher than it is right now and higher than bordering states.

The tax will be 30 cents higher than in Wisconsin, $1.47 higher than in Iowa, and $2.39 higher than in South Dakota.

Leave a comment

Ramadans have OC business licenses


Accused cigarette smugglers tied to restaurants, liquor

OCEAN CITY — Basel Ramadan, the man accused of masterminding a multi-million-dollar cigarette smuggling ring from Virginia to New York, still owes millions in unpaid liens, according to state judicial and tax records.

Basel, 42, and his brother, Samir Ramadan, 39, were arrested May 15 after a raid of their home in West Ocean City, their office in Ocean City and a storage warehouse in Dagsboro, Del. Authorities indicted the brothers and 14 other co-conspirators in what police call an untaxed cigarette distribution enterprise.

Leave a comment

New York Post/Letters to the Editor: NYC’s smoking problem: illegal cigs, misguided pols

From: New York Post

The Issue: How high taxes on cigarette sales can encourage organized crime or fund terrorism.


While I’m not surprised at anything Thomas Farley, our take-no-prisoners health commissioner, says, I’m a little disappointed in Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s collaborating in Farley’s brand of illogic (“Time To Smoke Out NY’s Butt-leggers” May 20).

As with liquor prohibition in the ’20s, the solution to the crime of cigarette smuggling is not to spend more police time and taxpayer money on law enforcement, but to repeal the prohibitive taxes that spur the black market.

Linda Stewart

Leave a comment