Tobacco ban creates flourishing illicit market

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These boxes of cigarettes were seized by police during a recent operation conducted in Lephalale, Limpopo. Hundreds of thousands of rands worth of tobacco products have been confiscated by the police since the lockdown began. Picture: SAPS / Twitter
These boxes of cigarettes were seized by police during a recent operation conducted in Lephalale, Limpopo. Hundreds of thousands of rands worth of tobacco products have been confiscated by the police since the lockdown began. Picture: SAPS / Twitter

NEWS

The ban on tobacco sales has not only failed to stop smokers from lighting up, but has created a flourishing illicit market.

The continued ban of cigarette sales across the country under the Disaster Management Act, which has come under sharp criticism, has not only fuelled an illicit market that will be hard to stop after the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown period, but has also shown, according to official records, that most smuggling takes place between three provinces – Gauteng, North West and the Northern Cape – where two recent busts to the value of R1.2 million were made.

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