Smuggling? Really? Who would have thought III

From the Australian:

Australian Border Force Deputy Commissioner Michael Outram said the “sheer size of the profits” available in the illegal tobacco trade made it attractive to organised crime.
“Elicit tobacco is a real priority for the Australian Border Force simply because of the involvement of serious and organised crime groups and transnational crime groups,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“They’ll trade in tobacco, they’ll trade in drugs, they’ll trade in human beings.”
He said the same tactics could be used to smuggle guns and drugs.

“If they can turn a quick buck with relatively low risk then they’ll do it, whether that’s drugs, whether that’s tobacco or in some cases whether that’s people smuggling.”

Police also seized $400,000 in cash during the raids on Tuesday.

About $2 million worth of assets including bank accounts and properties had been frozen.
It’s alleged the syndicate imported more than 10 million cigarettes, including one shipment of nine million “Manchester” branded cigarettes, which was seized after arriving at Sydney’s Port Botany last week, and had a black market value of about $5.4 million.

Probably completely coincidental to Australia’s plain packaging policy and excessive excise increases in recent years.

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36 Responses to Smuggling? Really? Who would have thought III

  1. Tom

    Elicit tobacco is a real priority …

    Oh FFS! An organisation that fancies itself as a prestigious national newspaper has some illiterate work experience kid processing the AAP copy — in prime time, 7.07pm! To say nothing of the illiterate J-school grad who wrote it. Will this blooper feature in tomorrow’s Cut and Paste?

  2. Gerard

    and they still say plain packaging has reduced smoking rates!

  3. wazsah

    I saw on last night’s TV news that the OMCG member arrested has been quickly released – I wonder how many others will be free again soon. Like the guy who yesterday assaulted two “guards” and walked out of Downing St Courts in a singlet and bare feet. Sums up so much that is wrong with our “justice system”. Turnkeys a thousand years ago knew how to manage prisoners – now our left wing infested system is too incompetent to do so.

  4. Fred Lenin

    These super intelligent politically correct comrades who think they can force everyone to follow the pardee line. It seems the whole system is in turmoil as the ineptly try to force the dysfunctional prisoners to comply with the desire of the left elite,anyone with half a brain would understand that a radical move like this woukd create resistance ,and serial breaking of these stupid rules ,leading to physical violence . Next move might be even more stupid if they try to stop smoking in mental institutions ,where smoking actually has a calming effect ,stopping it would deprive these unfortunate people of their only pleasure . Its seeming isnt it ? Seeming to do without taking side effects into account ,after all they dont suffer the consequences of tgese irresponsible and thoughtless actions . However some of the PC politicians may gain first hand experience of these places ,as their sins catch up with them ,and they join the many leftist politicuans who are already there ,then the penny will drop if someone tells the other prisoners these clowns were the ones who helped make these stupid rules . Serves the clowns right whatever happens to them .

  5. imagine the cost of all this to stop a few people growing tobacco in their backyards.

    Stop the war on drugs, don’t subsidise the side effects through Medicare.

  6. Shy Ted

    The ALP have been plain packaging their women too.

  7. Tom

    Shy Ted wins the internets!

  8. Gerard

    You would be surprised to know how little evidence there is that second hand smoke is harmful.

  9. steve of port sorell

    Didn’t the USA try to ban alcohol in the 1920’s look how that worked out. Make it illegal and the criminals step in, what’s that saying about repeating a mistake and expecting a different outcome.

  10. Geriatric Mayfly

    Sorry Gerard, but wasn’t it the exquisite legal mind of one, Marcus Einfield, who determined by tortuous logic, that second hand smoke felled all and sundry? The same ALP stalwart, who palmed off second hand speeding tickets.

  11. Leo G

    You would be surprised to know how little evidence there is that second hand smoke is harmful.

    What genuine evidence is available implies that second hand smoke does not cause the kind of harm that smokers can suffer.

  12. Rabz

    The same ALP stalwart, who palmed off second hand speeding tickets.

    And onto deceased American academics, no less.

  13. Baldrick

    TheirABC News seemed well pleased and had this as their number 3 top story last night, akin to a seizure of hundreds of kilograms of Ice or a proposal for new coal mine.

  14. Rabz

    Probably completely coincidental to Australia’s plain packaging policy and excessive excise increases in recent years.

    Remind me again who were the geniuses responsible for these “policies” that either completely ignored or didn’t account for such consequences, unintended or otherwise?

    Truly, we are maladministered by meddling, malignant idiots.

  15. Rabz

    akin to a seizure of hundreds of kilograms of Ice or a proposal for new coal mine

    Or Abbott winking at John “f*ckwit” Faine ($333,701) in respect of a wizened ol’ crone pretending to be a telephone sex wukka.

  16. Leo G

    The same ALP stalwart, who palmed off second hand speeding tickets

    My understanding is that it was the speeding which was second hand, not the speeding ticket, and the that the person who suffered the second hand effect did not breath the same air as the speedster.

  17. Diogenes

    Whilst not in this league, I confess to smuggling in well over my quota of cigars – (2″sticks” vs 15) – when I can a buy pack of 3 in Vanuatu, in Aussie plain packaging no less! , for 1/6th the price of 1 there is my incentive.

    I have a few students travelling to Vanuatu over the Xmas break, those over 18 will bring them back themselves, the rest have their parents agree to bring me a few packs back .

  18. C.L.

    Australia: last hold-out of the Volstead Act.
    Good luck to these cigarette businessmen.

  19. mundi

    The cigarette industry has loved all these regulations and lack of competition. When there are huge taxes you can charge a lot more and have a way bigger profit margin. It’s also way easier to price fix with you competitors. If should look at stock prices, cigarettes have been the best investment by far ever since governments started to crack down on them, especially US stocks.

  20. Some History

    Rabz: “Remind me again who were the geniuses responsible for these “policies” that either completely ignored or didn’t account for such consequences, unintended or otherwise?
    Truly, we are maladministered by meddling, malignant idiots.”

    Good summary. I’d just add “greedy” in there, i.e.,
    Truly, we are maladministered by meddling, greedy, malignant idiots.

    And it’s not just Roxon and Pliserbek. It’s the entire political class and, particularly, political bureaucracy. The Libs/Nats are as bad as the ALP, especially regarding ever-increasing extortionate taxes, and the Greens take the “self-righteousness” into fruitcake land
    These nitwits in government and the prohibitionist nut cases that have been given a red-carpet ride to the legislature were warned time and again that ever-increasing extortionate taxes will promote a contraband market. It’s not rocket science. But the combination of anti-tobacco zealotry/fanaticism and the greed of government has produced a dangerous stupidity. A flourishing contraband market must be laid squarely at the doorstep of prohibitionists and greedy government. They solely… entirely… are responsible for it.

  21. Some History

    Such threads provide an opportunity to highlight how far into delusion antismoking fanaticism has been allowed to venture. Baseless, extortionate taxes and plain packaging are just a few of the dingbat ideas concocted by State-supported prohibitionists.

    If any still have doubts that antismoking is in the realm of derangement, allow me to provide a few more examples.

    While waiting in the queue of a Hungry Jack’s drive-through, in the corner of my eye I caught a notice to drivers stuck on the window. It was a screen-printed sticker so considerable expense had been incurred on getting these made up. It reflects “official policy” dreamed up by some health officer at HJ’s. The sticker read something along the lines of “we value the health and safety of our employees. In the interests of health and safety could you not smoke [in your car] while at the window.”

    So, someone smoking in their car presents a health & safety issue for employees working at the window? There is no evidence for this claim. Further, bear in mind that there are at least 2 or 3 cars queued in a confined area around the delivery window, their engines running, belching exhaust fumes that would be the equivalent of thousands of cigarettes per few minutes. And what about inside the establishment? What do they think employees are exposed to all day long while BBQing hamburgers and frying chips that would be the equivalent of many thousands of cigarettes? Yet hazard apparently comes from someone smoking in their car, that an employee might catch a whiff. It’s the stuff of madness.

    Interestingly, McDonald’s has no such policy.

    _______

    Consider smoking bans around BBQ areas or for an entire park where BBQing is permitted – one from Australia (Boroondara Council, Victoria), one from Texas:
    http://progress-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/boroondara-passes-states-toughest-anti-smoking-laws/
    http://www.kutnews.org/post/you-cant-smoke-acl-even-though-burn-bans-lifted

    Think carefully on this. BBQing is OK, but don’t dare light a cigarette. Consider the following:
    Barbecues poison the air with toxins and could cause cancer, research suggests. A study by the French environmental campaigning group Robin des Bois found that a typical two-hour barbecue can release the same level of dioxins as up to 220,000 cigarettes.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3106039.stm

    So have we got that? BBQing over a 2 hour period releases dioxins the equivalent of a few hundred thousand cigarettes. This is not problematic. But lighting a cigarette is illegal. Don’t dare light a cigarette near the BBQ lest you “endanger” the chef.

    These sorts of bans are typically promoted on the basis of fraudulent “health & safety” concerns. It’s understandable how the gullible are convinced that tobacco smoke, unlike anything else on earth, is an incredibly dangerous “magical mist” capable of downing victims with one whiff. This has nothing to do with “protecting” the health of nonsmokers. It has to do with obsession with control and bigotry that promotes mental and social dysfunction. It’s a terrible bandwagon effect.

  22. “The more that laws and regulations are given prominence, the more thieves and robbers there will be.” Lao Tzu

    2500 years later and we still don’t get it.

  23. Habib

    What great use of the AFP’s resources; and why did they spend all that dough on “Border Force”, seeing as excisable product is sort of their balliwick, despite administration being handed over to the ATO some time ago. And these dumb flatfeet (or the idiot “journalist”) can’t spell “illicit”.

  24. Motivation for smoking is obvious.
    The price of legally obtained durries is too high, fair crackdown on illegal tobacco growing.
    Coz of the relatively large number of cubic metres required for tobacco, easier to catch smugglers of tobacco.

    The price of illegal substitutes for tobacco (either illegal tobacco, or some really bad nasty illegal drugs) sorta prices tobacco out of the market.

    All it has sticking to it is that it is hassle-free to purchase, and readily available.

  25. and why did they spend all that dough on “Border Force”, seeing as excisable product is sort of their balliwick

    Coz Customs were useless at actually collecting dough. That is why the ATO has been getting their jobs, and why Border Farce was implemented.

  26. rickw

    Of course draconian Gun Laws would never fuel importation of illegal firearms, nor would draconian Law and Regulation on other issues fuel similar activities.

    Unintended consequences is not something that Government in Australia understands, at all. They consider the Australian People to be something which can be squeezed mercilessly in their hand without a drop slipping past their fingers.

  27. You would be surprised to know how little evidence there is that second hand smoke is harmful.

    Gerard, during the workup to my transplant, I was asked if I smoked, and I said no, but the Child Bride does. The interviewer waved their hand and said “Of no consequence.”

  28. .

    Ellicit tobacco is a real thing. It has helped me do some really good work in overdrive mode and helped me study, and get through tough times.

    It’s a thing, just like how walking a bloody dog is a “thing” now.

    As for the smuggling – utterly inevitable.

    Excise is a regressive tax and if we were rational about the tax system, we would need less welfare and less people on it.

  29. Habib

    Coz Customs were useless at actually collecting dough. That is why the ATO has been getting their jobs, and why Border Farce was implemented.

    Not as useless as the ATO, I was in the ACS for 16 years, then jumped the fence to the dark side. A while back I noticed a client was importing “water purifiers” from Un Zud, complete with assorted flavouring essences (scotch, bourbon etc). Not wanting to bung my own name on a container load of prohibited imports, I called the excise branch of the ATO, and they couldn’t give a fuck. When Customs was running excise they’d have been kicking doors in, the only time i ever got shot at was a still raid.

    There’s thousands upon thousands of moonshine plants in bogan garages across the country, as long as i don’t get penalised for clearing them through customs I don’t give a shit; can’t say I’d be inclined to try the product though, too easy for it to be contaminated with wood alcohol, particularly if the manufacturer is a drunken hillbilly.

  30. With cigarettes convenience seems to matter more than price.
    My place shares a wall with a newsagency, who sells cigarettes for (say) $25 a pack.
    Nobody will walk the 10 steps next door, instead they buy from me for (say) $33 a pack.
    Until now.
    But they don’t go next door, they instead roll their own.

    Finally durries have reached a price point where there is resistance and unwillingness to purchase.
    (This is not the same as unwillingness to smoke)

    At such a point, the field becomes lucrative for smugglers.

  31. Not as useless as the ATO

    Music to my ears.

  32. Zyc0n0clast


    Probably completely coincidental to Australia’s plain packaging policy and excessive excise increases in recent years.
    Remind me again who were the geniuses responsible for these “policies” that either completely ignored or didn’t account for such consequences, unintended or otherwise?
    Truly, we are maladministered by meddling, malignant idiots.

    Ugliest models ever!

    +1 for Shy Ted’s comment.

  33. Yohan

    Well forget the illegal imported cigs, where can I buy some of this backyard chop chop?

    I would start smoking again (occasionally) if I could find some natural, non chemically laced tobacco.

  34. Fred Lenin

    Alcohol Prohibition in the USA did wonders for President Kennedys family ,he would never have got tge job if Gangster Joe and his Mafia mates hadnt gone int o the booze smuggling business Idonic ! The “miarl fanatics ” helped a Gangsters son become President ! They were very much like the Tossers who moepralise todayn

  35. Rob MW

    “Probably completely coincidental to Australia’s plain packaging policy and excessive excise increases in recent years.”

    The stupid over regulating idiots have absolutely no idea what makes the world go round or that every person born, to some degree, is an opportunist. From sea level prices for goods and services, that may or may not have fallen off the back of a truck, to using over regulation as a catalyst for a black-market for obtainable goods.

    The stupid bastards never learnt from America’s comical yet notorious alcohol prohibition law.

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