Contraband tobacco is big business. It’s well into the billions of dollars annually in Canada. It’s also well known who makes, distributes and sells the illegal smokes. Here’s a bit of insight from our colleagues at Global National. http://globalnews.ca/news/2608297/canadas-flourishing-contraband-tobacco-market-helps-fund-overseas-terrorism-report/
Once in a while there’ll be a major bust, as was the case this past week, but for the most part law enforcement and governments are not truly committed to solving the problem. The biggest problem for police is the sticky business of busting first nations and for government, to admit that they have over-taxed tobacco to the point where millions will buy cheaper illegal products. Nobody is more addicted to gambling, alcohol and tobacco than governments. Each year the taxes are raised just a little (or a lot) more. It’s easy and popular but it has caused the dreaded law of unintended consequences to kick in. Once something becomes outrageously expensive to buy legally, an underground market will spring up. Voila. Your underground tobacco industry, which is now being used to fund organized crime and international terrorist groups. Still think hiking tobacco taxes is a good thing?