File:Cigarettes hidden in a concrete block BA1.jpg

Cigarettes found hidden in concrete blocks

Cigarette smuggling is the illicit transportation of cigarettes from an administrative division with low taxation to a division with high taxation for sale and consumption. The practice, commonly used by Organized crime syndicates and rebel groups, is a form of tax evasion.[1]

Ireland[edit | edit source]

In Ireland the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a designated terrorist organization, smuggled cigarettes to raise money for attacks.[1]

Montenegro[edit | edit source]

In the Former Yugoslavia, Montenegro was known for being a haven for cigarette smuggling into Italy.[citation needed]

United States[edit | edit source]

In the United States each of the fifty states tax cigarette packs at a different price. In 1992 states charged an average of 25 cents. By January 2002 that average increased to 45 cents. Six months later states, trying to compensate for budget deficits, raised their cigarette taxes to an average 54 cents. According to John D'Angelo of the U.S. government's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), there is a "direct relationship between the increase in a state's tax and an increase in illegal trafficking." This is true with all psychotropic substances, the more the state tries to repress the trade with a legal or illegal substance, the higher the prices and with them the profit margins become. The U.S. government foiled funding operations by Al Qaeda in New York in 1999 and Hezbollah in North Carolina in 2002.[1]

It has been reported that smuggling one truckload of cigarettes within the United States can lead to a profit of US$2 million.[2]

Canada[edit | edit source]

As of 2009, illegal cigarettes are believed to be a $1.5 billion industry in Canada.[3] In Canada, between 63 and 79 per cent of the price of a package of cigarettes is tax. In New York, by comparison, the tax on cigarettes is 38 per cent.[4] This large of a difference has inevitably led to many border-goers taking advantage of the situation, not only in Canada but also in the U.S., the land that has traditionally imported rather than exported illegal goods.

Ukraine – Schengen Area[edit | edit source]

A 700-meters smuggling tunnel with a narrow gauge railway was revealed in July 2012 between Uzhgorod (Ukraine) and Vyšné Nemecké (Slovakia), at the border of Schengen Area. The tunnel used professional mining and security technologies. It was used primarily for smuggling of cigarettes.[5]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bruce Bartlett (2002). "Cigarette Smuggling". National Center for Policy Analysis. http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba423/. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  2. Cigarette Smuggling Linked to Terrorism
  3. Contenta, Sandro. "Cigarette smuggling rises in Canada", Global Post (2009)[1]
  4. "The Cost of Smoking" CBC News (2007)[2]
  5. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/19/us-slovakia-ukraine-tunnel-idUSBRE86I0ZO20120719

External links[edit | edit source]

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