– $5.1 MILLION IN ILLICIT TOBACCO SMOKED OUT
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has uncovered approximately 291,000 cigarettes and 3,026 kilograms of loose-leaf tobacco in an operation spanning three properties in Logan QLD. The illicit tobacco seized had a total estimated foregone excise value of $5.16 million. The ATO is primarily focused on targeting the source of illicit tobacco supply. By removing illicit tobacco from stalk to supply, we are ensuring a level playing field for honest businesses.
“Selling illicit tobacco might be a temptation but it’s simply not worth the risk. We are committed to protecting legitimate retailers and the community by applying the full force of the law,” Ms Croaker said.
It has been illegal to grow tobacco in Australia for more than a decade. Penalties for growing, selling or possessing (including storing) illicit tobacco are significant. If convicted, criminals may face up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine of at least $333,000, or both.
Signs of an illicit tobacco distribution hub in your vicinity include multiple people and or vehicles, coming and going at irregular hours and being loaded with cardboard boxes or bags.
If you suspect that someone is storing illicit tobacco in your community, you can report it anonymously to the ATO by completing the tip-off form, www.ato.gov.au/tipoff , or phoning 1800 060 062.
Full story here.