An ICIJ Investigation

Big Tobacco Smuggling

Down-and-out in developed nations, Big Tobacco is refocusing its lobbying on emerging markets.

  • During 2000 and 2001, a team of reporters from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists broke a series of landmark stories exposing how leading tobacco companies worked with criminal networks to smuggle cigarettes around the world.
  • Relying on interviews with insiders and thousands of internal industry documents, the unique team - based in six countries - pieced together how smuggling played a key role in big tobacco's strategy to boost sales and increase market share.
  • Those revelations, and others that followed, helped prompt lawsuits and government inquiries, and led to promises of a global crackdown on the illegal trade in tobacco.

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