Canada Fuels the Tobacco Black Market in Costa Rica

From: The Costa Rica Star


Black Market, Black EyeBy Edward R. Myers

(FSCwire Press Release) – According to Danya Mere, a seasoned investigative journalist writing in Mexico’s newspaper, Reforma, “Canada is not only famous for its maple syrup or for Niagara Falls, it is also famous for producing cigarettes sold in the international market illegally.”

This indictment comes after a group of Mexican journalists visited Canada this summer and found out that the source of a huge illicit cigarette trade and tax defrauding scheme in Mexico is in large part due to contraband cigarettes coming from Southwestern Ontario, Canada’s tobacco belt.

Some fact-checking of the Mexicans’ findings has served to support Danya Mere’s accusations.


Reports are now emanating from a variety of Latin American countries that point to more international corruption attributable to Canada. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama are all making similar noises to the Mexicans.

Note from The Costa Rica Star: This year alone Costa Rica has missed out on $24 million in unrealized revenues due to black market cigarette sales. National television news station Teletica reported in October that a high number of cigarettes sold untaxed are manufactured in indigenous territories of Canada. Furthermore, daily tabloid Diario Extra reported that Revenue Police officers determined that the popular underground tobacco brand Seneca is manufactured by Grand River Enterprises (GRE) of Toronto. The company that imports Seneca is named Costa Rica Pura Vida S.A., and it has all the permits required by the Ministry of Health to bring tobacco into our country, albeit skirting revenue obligations.

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