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Smoking gun of tobacco smuggling

An EU scheme that puts big tobacco firms in charge of monitoring counterfeit tobacco smuggling is about to be renewed, despite the same companies launching a court challenge to a new EU-wide system on tracking and tracing. Governments lose huge sums in tax in smuggling operations but the companies declared that just 0.5% of seized shipments in 2012 were theirs and not counterfeits.

Independent MEP Nessa Childers says the companies should not be involved in any way after courts finding them guilty of a global scheme of smuggling, fixing prices, bribing officials, and trading with terrorists. The monitoring agreements lapse next year and Ms Childers says the “farce” should end now.

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