From: US Department of Treasury | FinCEN

A married couple structured millions of dollars through their retail cigarette business using multiple financial institutions and branches. The defendants’ businesses were dependent upon individuals purchasing the cigarettes for illicit tax-free sales in other states. To avoid scrutiny, the defendants structured the revenues from the cigarette sales. However, Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed by multiple financial institutions not only helped investigators detect the scheme but provided critical details and leads.

From: US Department of Treasury | FinCEN

A nationwide conspiracy to purchase cigarettes in the South and illegally sell them in Northern States resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in state tax revenue. In some cases, the unpaid tax on a carton of cigarettes was almost $40 a carton. Some of the conspirators made trips south to purchase the cigarettes, while other supplied the cigarettes, knowing they were for out-of-state sales. One defendant was found to be responsible of structuring the illicit payments into local banks.

From: European Commission | European Anti-Fraud Office

22 October 2015
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The annual Task Group Cigarettes Conference took place in Bratislava on 12-15 October. It was organised by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in close cooperation with the Slovak Tax and Customs Directorate. The event brought together experts from more than 50 law enforcement agencies such as police and customs from all 28 EU Member States as well as specialised agencies such as the World Customs Organisation (WCO), Europol, Interpol and the EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM). Two agencies, the Internal Security Agency of Poland and the Hellenic Coast Guard, attended the conference for the first time.

From: Tobacco Control

2015 Sep 28

Ross H1, Vellios N1, Clegg Smith K2, Ferguson J2, Cohen JE2



Given the prominence of Cheap Whites in illicit tobacco discussions, we examined various definitions, market presence, brand proliferation, manufacturers, production locations, trademark ownership, prices and compliance with tax stamp and warning labels.


Data from peer-reviewed and grey literature, newspapers, trademark registries, governments/international organisation reports, and the tobacco industry were contrasted with two visual legal requirements (tax stamps and warning labels) and prices from the Tobacco Pack Surveillance System (TPackSS).