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Increase in black market cigarette sales in Basingstoke
BLACK market cigarette sales in Basingstoke are on the rise, according to a new survey.
The survey, funded by global tobacco giants, found that the rate of packs in the town that were either illegal or purchased outside the UK rose from 11.3 per cent between the last three months of 2011 to 34.6 per cent during the same period in 2012.
Will O’Reilly, a former Detective Chief Inspector in the Metropolitan Police, who helped to carry out the research, said: “Just as armed robberies of the 1970s and 1980s made way for the drugs trade and large-scale fraud in the 1990s, so a new crime of choice has emerged, which carries even less risk and even greater profits. The trade in illicit tobacco has become the primary source of revenue for some criminal gangs.”
The survey was carried out by MSIntelligence, a Geneva-based firm, and was jointly funded by Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group and Japan Tobacco International.
They argue that Government plans to introduce plain cigarette packaging will increase cigarette smuggling.