British American Tobacco (BAT) is benefitting from the gradual deflation in the illicit trade of cigarettes locally due to the improved regulatory environment in Malaysia, according to a story posted on The Star Online.
Managing director Datuk William Toh said the illegal buying and selling of cigarettes had declined last year by 1.6 percent compared to 2011.
“We saw a slight reduction in illicit trade to 34.5 percent of (overall) volume last year.
“Due to this, we are seeing a 0.24 percent growth in legal volume, which is the first time in many years where we have enjoyed volume growth,” Toh said at a briefing after the company’s AGM.
“This is good news and we hope the Government will continue to put in more effort into this area. Illicit trade at 34.5 percent is high by any standards.
“It is a difficult challenge as we have long coastlines with neighbouring countries where smugglers can easily enter,” he added.
BAT attributed the reduction in illicit trade to the sustained excise duties for two consecutive years and the increased role by the various enforcement agencies such as the Customs and border patrol in nabbing smugglers.