Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tobacco Underground: Global Trade in Smuggled Smokes

Barry Artiste Op/Ed

Forget the poppy fields of Afghanistan, or drug smuggling across our borders, there is and always has been a new Kid in town, smuggling legal cigarettes the world over. 

Governments accuse Tobacco Companies of collusion with organized crime in getting thier smokes to market by hook or by crook.  Criminal gangs, kill and threaten anyone with violence who get in their way!

Which brings me to another topic, the lower mainland of BC has been a cauldron of death and violence with Gangs and their Shoot em ups over the marijuana trade and smuggling.  Many state Marijuana is a victimless crime and should be legalised and taxed by the government in order to stop criminal gangs shows these People who advocate legalization are so totally unclear on the concept of reality.  Nothing would change, criminal organizations and gangs would still be around, they would just sell marijuana cheaper to consumers, or move onto some other criminal activity.

Governments cheated out of taxes, have for the last couple of decades have been fighting the war on cigarette smuggling. Why? Governments know  the Billions of dollars in Sin Tax they get from Smokes is a great way to boost their Government coffers at a moments notice.   Governments do not like to be cheated out of those Taxes, smuggling avoids paying.

So, in ending, legalising and taxing marijuana would just exacerbate the problem, as criminal gangs would still be in operation regardless if marijuana is legal.

As they say Taxes are the Root of all Evil, especially if the Government doesn't get their cut.

The illicit trafficking of tobacco is a multibillion-dollar business today, fueling organized crime and corruption, robbing governments of needed tax money, and spurring addiction to a deadly product. So profitable is the trade that tobacco is the world’s most widely smuggled legal substance. This booming business now stretches from counterfeiters in China and renegade factories in Russia to Indian reservations in New York and warlords in Pakistan and North Africa. Read more...

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