Cigarette sale ban will leave lasting, criminal legacy – former Sars lawyer
The ban on the sale of tobacco has been lifted – but its unintended legacy may last long into the foreseeable future, says former Sars lawyer Telita Snyckers.
“South Africans have acquired a taste for insurgency,” Snyckers told Financial Mail on Monday.
“The danger of a tax revolt has never been greater.”
Read: TELITA SNYCKERS - With the ban lifted, what’s next for dirty tobacco? (Financial Mail)
Snyckers is an expert on how the illegal cigarette trade operates.
She argues that formerly dominant British American Tobacco's (BAT) lost market share to companies such as Gold Leaf Tobacco, Carnilinx, Best Tobacco and Amalgamated Tobacco is likely to be permanent.
After more than four months of the ban, if you want to smoke a cigarette, it’s easy to find.
There’s also a proliferation of cigarette substitutes available online, she says, such as rolling tobacco, delivered to your door.
Snyckers is the author of “Dirty Tobacco: Spies, Lies and Mega-Profits - A Sars Insider Spills the Beans on Global Crime”.
The ban has introduced smokers to illicit suppliers… the illegal market is here to stay.Telita Snyckers, author - Dirty Tobacco: Spies, Lies and Mega-Profits
Illicit traders could charge what they wanted to… [now] the prices have decreased dramatically… Packs are now available for R10 a pack… below even the tax payable on a legal pack.Telita Snyckers, author - Dirty Tobacco: Spies, Lies and Mega-Profits
This isn’t a government that wanted to consult its citizens… not smart… the way the ban was introduced and communicated didn’t do the government any favours.Telita Snyckers, author - Dirty Tobacco: Spies, Lies and Mega-Profits
Listen to the interview in the audio below.
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