On 30th September, Africa Times carried an article about a new book (by the former head of the now-disbanded high-risk investigation unit at the South African Revenue Service) and the attempted murder of a Zimbabwe tobacco “kingpin”, Simon Rudland, co-owner of Gold Leaf Tobacco.  It says that the South African tobacco industry is split between the established players and the independent upstarts eating into their market share, and both sides have shown they will stop at nothing to achieve supremacy.  The article alleges “dirty tricks” including industrial espionage and cynical lobbying, which has enabled wealthy tobacco companies to infiltrate key state security agencies.  However, a new illicit trade unit, similar in scope to the old high-risk investigations force has been set up.  It has promised a crackdown on rampant tobacco smuggling, with plans to phase out the old, ineffective stamps and introduce a new system of ‘track and trace’ – implementing such a system is a key global requirement under the terms of the World Health Organization’s Illicit Trade Protocol.  It is said that in Kenya, introduction of “track and trace” resulted in a great reduction in illegal cigarettes and the Kenyan Revenue Authority’s revenue collection from cigarettes grew by more than 50%.  The article warns of further interference with plans for the new system.


This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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