Tobacco smuggling fuels organized crime, robs governments of tax money and spurs addiction..

July 24, 2009 - Cigarette smuggling is a lucrative, low-risk business that is sometimes used to help fund terrorist organizations around the world, according to a new report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The report, "Tobacco Underground," charts the paths of smugglers working for the Taliban, Hezbollah, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, the Real Irish Republican Army (Real IRA) and others.

David Kaplan, editorial director at The Center for Public Integrity and editor of the report, explains how the multibillion-dollar business fuels organized crime, robs governments of tax money and spurs addiction.

David Kaplan explains how tobacco smuggling fuels organized crime worldwide. - NPR's FreshAir from WHYY - 25 minute.

According to The Tobacco Atlas, cigarettes are the world’s most widely smuggled legal consumer product. In 2006, contraband cigarettes accounted for 11 percent of global cigarette sales, or about 600 billion cigarettes.

Reference: Tobacco Fuels Addiction, And Terrorism, David Kaplan - Editor of Report,, 7/21/2009.

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