The Role of Duty Free Zones in Facilitating the Trade in Illicit Tobacco and Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Editor’s Note: See also Belize’s Illegal Cigarette Trade and Corozal Free Zone Supports Money Laundering and Cigarette Smuggling in Belize.

From: The Malaysian Reserve

Govt should get tough on duty-free zones

Illicit trade in Malaysia is a persistent threat that only keeps expanding with the rise of technology


Several smuggling networks have been found to have affiliations with armed insurgent groups such as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), who use the illegal trade as a means of financing their disturbing criminal activities, such as mass murder and child trafficking. Illicit trade can also pose a real threat to public health, particularly through Malaysia’s active market for counterfeit medicines.


The new government should introduce much stricter controls and the implementation of a total ban on dutyfree cigarettes should be considered. Such a measure isn’t one that Malaysia is exactly unfamiliar with, either.

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