Attempts intended to reduce smoking by imposing higher taxes on cigarettes backfired as they had very little impact but brought about a higher utilization of illegal cigarettes. Malaysia may be the world’s largest consumer of illegal cigarettes, with 1,000 packs sold every minute.
Oxford Economics Report Indicates Illicit Cigaret Trad Cost RM4.8b To Malaysia
Oxford Economics reported the fact that illicit cigarette trade cost Malaysia about RM4.8 billion in excise duties a year ago. Another study estimated 12 billion illegal sticks sold not too long ago, topping the whole world in numbers. Obviously, Oxford Economics said 58.9 per cent coming from all cigarettes available in the country were illegal.
RM1 Billion of Illegal Cigarettes Confiscated
Billions in lost revenue is a concern and the media has been reporting many raids lawfully enforcement organizations to discourage smuggling attempts at border checkpoints. The Customs department confiscated contraband cigarettes worth RM1 billion. The illegal cigarette trade is very profitable to crime syndicates.
However, these efforts are simply a scratch on the surface. What required is definitely an all-out war to eliminate illicit tobacco market. Oxford Economics reported that smuggling syndicates are undermining the rule of law and regulations in Malaysia not to mention spreading corruption through bribery. This will lessen the country’s fascinate global investors.
Bribery & Corruption in Law Enforcement
It’s been reported that 80 per cent of security and law enforcement personnel at Malaysia’s borders are corrupt. Contraband cigarettes are raking in a great deal of profits for Malaysian smuggling syndicates quite possibly competent to funnel that amount of money to more smuggling operations and other models of criminal activities.
Terrorism Organisation Linked To Illegal Cigarette Business
Illegal cigarettes trade is also a lucrative business and so on total funds are utilized to finance terrorism. The Home Ministry and crime prevention groups have begun drawing links to terrorist organisations as well as the booming illicit cigarette business, which is considered that these organisations are employing Malaysia in the form of base to finance their activities.
Smuggling A Lucrative Business
For the smugglers, bribing the border authorities is small investment, as they are able gain massive returns. Syndicates dealing with supplying contraband cigarettes are actually more brazen and wanting to exhaust all avenues, including leveraging threats, to influence these quarters to employ them.
Light Penalties Leads To More Crime
The smuggling problem is only going to degenerate because penalties for smuggling are light, border controls are weak, raids often produced a small amount of arrests, and Malaysia’s high tobacco are so high the fact that the price difference with neighbouring countries make smuggling very profitable. This problem is able to only be solved by eradicating corruption and individuals main suppliers, specially the syndicates.
Laws really should be unveiled in impose stronger penalties and punishment on anyone working in the illegal cigarette trade. Such as smugglers, distributors and in some cases retailers. An important fine and mandatory jail term has to be a fitting and efficient deterrent versus smuggling and selling illegal cigarettes.