Drug deal­ers turn to cig­a­rette smug­gling

The Washington Times Daily - - World -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG | The na­tional rev­enue ser­vice says il­le­gal drug syn­di­cates in South Africa are turn­ing to cig­a­rette smug­gling.

The tax and cus­toms au­thor­ity said Tues­day that more than 1 bil­lion smug­gled cig­a­rettes were con­fis­cated last year. It said 70 per­cent of the to­bacco con­tra­band came from the na­tion’s trou­bled north­ern neigh­bor, Zim­babwe.

Au­thor­ity spokesman Adrian Lackey said trends sug­gest “well-known or­ga­nized crime fig­ures have been mov­ing away from in­vest­ing in tra­di­tional il­le­gal drug smug­gling.”

In Zim­babwe’s chaotic econ­omy, cig­a­rettes sell for one-fourth of the re­tail price in South Africa.

Rev­enue of­fi­cials said smug­gled cig­a­rettes also came from Dubai. They said a re­cent ship­ment of 18 mil­lion cig­a­rettes was seized at the South African port of Dur­ban.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.