The European Union’s anti-fraud office, Olaf, is to take issue with British American Tobacco for making what Olaf alleges were false claims about the nature of their relationship when lobbying British health officials, according to a story in The Times.
BAT is said to have told civil servants at the Department of Health during a private meeting convened to discuss the impact of standardized tobacco packaging that Britain’s illicit tobacco market had grown to more than a quarter of the legal market in the fourth quarter of 2012.
This figure, it was apparently said, was gleaned from a study whose methodology was backed by Olaf.
“The BAT empty pack survey, which BAT said was endorsed by Olaf, shows a tax gap of 26 per cent in quarter four 2012,” according to the note of the meeting in January, agreed by BAT and the Department of Health, and obtained by The Times.
But a spokeswoman for Olaf said Olaf had not endorsed an empty pack survey undertaken by BAT or any other cigarette manufacturer.
“We were not aware that BAT had stated Olaf had endorsed their empty pack survey,” the spokeswoman said.
“We will take up this issue with BAT.”
Category: Breaking News