Illicit Tobacco Trade

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Methods and Trends

Illicit Tobacco Trade

Illicit Tobacco Trade.pdf
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Illicit Tobacco Trade

The illicit trade in tobacco represents a significant percentage of the global cigarette market:  it is estimated to amount to tens of billions of dollars.    Given its cash intensive and profitable nature, the illicit tobacco trade is also a vector for money laundering, as it presents low levels of risk for the offenders in terms of detection, seizure and prosecution.

The international nature of the illicit tobacco trade requires an international response.  Various FATF members are exposed to the risks posed by the illicit tobacco trade, from the cultivation of raw tobacco to national and international distribution, through to the final point of sale, whether it be in the formal or informal sectors. 

Based on the results of a questionnaire sent to FATF members and supported by a range of case studies, this typologies report aims to:

a)       determine the extent of the money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) vulnerabilities associated with illicit trade in tobacco at a global, regional and domestic level.

b)      identify relevant case studies and determine trends and patterns from a global, regional and domestic perspective.

c)       identify possible indicators which may assist financial and non-financial institutions in developing mechanisms to identify, report and counter smuggling activities and the misuse of trade practices.

d)      assist jurisdictions and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) in knowledge building and the identification of the consequences of and enabling factors associated with the illicit trade in tobacco.

e)       enhance the efforts aimed at curbing ML and TF associated with the illicit trade in tobacco.

Illicit Tobacco Trade will highlight the need to enhance the international cooperation and recognise the illicit trade in tobacco as a significant global money laundering and terror financing threat. 


 Also available:

Illicit Tobacco Trade_Russian


Translation into Russian of the FATF Report 'Illicit Tobacco Trade'. Translation provided by the International Training and Methodology Centre for Financial Monitoring (ITMCFM) for the  (EAG).

Перевод подготовлен Международным учебно-методическим центром по финансовому мониторингу.

Illicit Tobacco Trade_Russian‌(pdf)