Malaysia now is the number one consumer of illicit cigarettes

Malaysia‚Äôs initiative to curb smoking with making use of higher excise taxes on cigarettes has pushed smokers to order illicit cigarettes. Thus, you’ll find function as the largest consumers of illicit cigarettes on this planet with 1,000 packs sold every minute.

Oxford Economics reported that this illicit cigarette trade cost Malaysia about RM4.8 billion in excise duties last year. Another study estimated 12 billion illicit sticks sold last year, topping the entire world in numbers. Not surprisingly, Oxford Economics said 58.9 per cent of all the cigarettes bought from the country were illegal.

illicit cigarette

Government effort in combating illicit cigarette trade

Stung because of the enormous decrease in revenue, federal government mobilised its enforcement agencies. Raids and operations have already been conducted to stymie smuggling attempts at border checkpoints. Until now, the Customs Department confiscated contraband cigarettes with profits worth RM1 billion. Illegal smuggling businesses are clearly very profitable for crime syndicates.

Raids and seizures by way of the authorities have limited effect on the matter. An all-out assault is necessary to tackle the illicit tobacco trade. Smuggling syndicates can flout legal issues and influence enforcement staff through bribery. Malaysia’s attractiveness as global investment destination may be depending this belief of corruption, Oxford Economics informed.

80% of law enforcement is corrupted

It absolutely was reported that 80 per cent of law enforcement and security officers at Malaysia’s borders receive bribes. Illicit cigarettes are so profitable that Malaysian smuggling syndicates can pay for to modernise their smuggling activities and perhaps sponsor some other sort of criminal operations.

Bribery is a kind of and comparatively cheap method for smugglers to build past with border controls, when compared to huge returns they create. However, when bribery fails, these criminal syndicates are bold enough to implement threats and intimidation against border officers to gain their cooperation.

Illicit cigarette finances terrorism

The lucrative income out of the cigarette trade may possibly be utilized to finance terrorism. The Home Ministry and several crime prevention groups are actually investigating ties between terrorist organisations additionally, the growing illicit cigarette business. It really is considered that these organisations have build operations in Malaysia to lift funds for their activities.

Smuggling can be a worsening issue especially with weak penalties for smugglers, poor border controls, low arrest rates as well as tobacco taxes creating disparity between neighbouring countries. The only method to tackle this concern is almost always to pun intended, the corruption and make the grade off along at the main source, namely the syndicates.


The authorities should impose harsher penalties, which include heavier fines and imprisonment, everybody in the logistics along with the distributors and retailers. If both smugglers and dealers face tough consequence inside of the law, it will eventually certainly be the deterrent for both.

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