BAT denies smuggling claims
Strong evidence has emerged that British American Tobacco has been involved in smuggling.
JOHANNESBURG - As British American Tobacco (BAT) denies claims it's been involved in cigarette smuggling, the National Council Against Smoking says there's a strong incentive for tobacco firms to smuggle their own products.
This morning Eyewitness News revealed that a document formally submitted to Parliament suggested there was strong evidence BAT had been involved in smuggling along with State Security Agency officials.
The document was given to Parliament's Finance Portfolio Committee by former South African Revenue Service (Sars) spokesperson Adrian Lackay as part of his submissions about the secret spy unit saga.
Council head Yussuf Saloojee says this is a common problem.
"International evidence shows very clearly that BAT and other major manufacturers have been involved in secret smuggling around the world. This is good evidence from South Africa. When prices of cigarettes go up, the response of most smokers is to stop smoking and in order to keep smokers who would have quit when prices go up, they support smuggling lower priced cigarettes."