Tip-off disrupts illegal trade

| February 23, 2016

Imperial Brands reported yesterday that its Australian division had helped disrupt an organised crime syndicate responsible for more than 200 illegal tobacco shipments to Australia.

‘Acting on intelligence provided by Imperial, the Australian Border Force arrested two men in Sydney in connection with the illegal importation of more than 30 million cigarettes – evading around A$15 million in excise payments,’ the company said in a note posted on its website.

“These arrests represent a major step forward in the fight against illicit trade but it’s still a major problem in Australia,” Gary Dickson, Imperial’s regulatory and legal compliance manager in Australia, was quoted as saying.

“The illegal supply chain involves organised crime gangs and these people don’t have any qualms about selling to children.

“As excise on tobacco continues to increase the incentive remains for criminals to sell illegal tobacco in our communities.

“We’ll continue to highlight the impact on Australian society and the economy and we remain committed to working with the authorities to help combat the criminals.”

The illegal tobacco market in Australia was said to account for more than 14 percent of total consumption – ‘costing the government A$1.42 billion each year in lost revenue’.

Category: Breaking News

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