Trade in illicit cigarattes is on the rise globally, representing 12 per cent of the total trade and Tanzania is among those adversely affected.
?While we are part of the solution by tracking and tracing our brands and sharing information with customs, unfortunately the illegal trade in tobacco products continues flourish,? said the Tanzania Cigarette Company Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Paul Makanza. He said illegal trade represents 12 per cent of the worldwide market.
?The criminal gangs behind the black market evade tax and are amassing great wealth.? As the World Customs Organisation has stated, he said, illegal tobacco has a corrosive effect on the community, steals tax revenue from governments and harms legitimate business.
?TCC is fully committed to supporting police and customs. We recently conducted a workshop for law enforcers to equip them with the required knowledge to combat the illegal trade in tobacco products and we will continue to work with authorities to address this problem,? said Mr Makanza.
He called for tougher enforcement of the law targeted at everyone in the black market, from the organised syndicates through to the illegal street seller.
?While TCC complies with the law, criminals exploit the law. Without measures such as raids, seizure, severe fines and or imprisonment, government efforts to combat illegal tobacco are left meaningless,? he said.
Tanzania Daily News