Smoke and Mirrors: The Balkan Hub of a Global Cigarette Scam

Editor’s Note: See also Copying Cleopatra: The Cigarette ‘Made in Egypt’, via Montenegro.

From: Balkan Insight

It claimed to have kicked the habit. But Montenegro is again at the heart of a global trade in illegal cigarettes. Its Balkan neighbours risk getting hooked too.



Besides conducting dozens of interviews, BIRN and ARIJ reporters have scoured shipping papers, confidential contracts, customs reports and court files to unpick the operations.

The results shine a light on how Southeast Europe, and Montenegro in particular, has become the hub of a global criminal network that hides behind offshore havens and exploits the paucity of coordinated international response.

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