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The British American Tobacco smuggling scam goes international

The British American Tobacco smuggling scam

EWN reports from this morning note that a document has been submitted to Parliament claiming there is evidence that British American Tobacco (BAT) has been involved in what looks like cigarette smuggling. The claim comes from the former Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackey, where he says that evidence that he was made aware of shows that both BAT South Africa and BAT UK were working with current and former State Security officials in “…a range of illegal activities which had cost the fiscus hundreds of millions of rand…”:


Lackey resigned from Sars as part of the fallout from claims of a rogue spy unit within the organization. Executive Director at the National Council Against Smoking, Dr Yussuf Saloojee:

The claim is based on reasonably good international evidence which shows that there has been secret smuggling around the world. Why would they do this? To increase their profits. When prices of cigarettes go up, the response is that smokers stop smoking, so cigarettes are smuggled (away from formal market channels of distribution) so that smokers can buy lower priced cigarettes. Smuggling doesn’t cost cigarette companies any money at all. Sars needs to look at this very closely because there have been claims of relations between Sars employees and those of the BAT and beyond that, this is a national health issue.

The statement in response from the British American Tobacco South Africa


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