‘BAT used bullying tactics to stay ahead’

EWN revealed the contents of an affidavit of an alleged corporate tobacco war between BAT & its competitors.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The director of a company, allegedly the victim of British American Tobacco (BAT)'s corporate espionage and bullying tactics, says he believes the multinational was motivated by profits and a drive to maintain dominant market share.

Eyewitness News revealed today the contents of a whistle-blower's affidavit, who alleges that BAT and the Forensic Security Services (FSS) used a network of spies to force small competitors out of business.

The document is part of submissions being prepared for a complaint to the Competition Commission.

Local tobacco producer Carnilinx's Kyle Phillips says they have gathered significance evidence against BAT.

"Spies sabotage is infiltrating our business and upsetting our supply chain. There are various tactics that are used and they won't stop at anything to get us out of the market."

Phillips says they trust the whistle-blower.

"We've checked his credentials and he is an ex-policeman. He was part of an official project and when he found out that all the actions were not sanctioned as they were all illegal, he wanted no part of it. He has nothing to gain by fabricating all these stories and everything that is presented to us, he can corroborate. There is proof of everything."

BAT has declined to comment.

It controls about 85 percent of the South African cigarette market.