Cigarettes are among the most common illicitly traded products in the world.
And, according to reports, T&T is robbed of $30 million a year because of this illicit trade.
So as a result there have been stringent measures in place to try and deal with this issue.
But now there is new twist to the situation.
Philip Morris T&T Ltd has come forward to say that their Marlboro and L&M cigarettes are legal and should not be seized.
Philip Morris T&T, which is incorporated here and affiliated with Philip Morris International, said that Micon Marketing Ltd is a licensed importer, distributor and wholesaler of its products locally.
“Philip Morris has been informed by several points of sale that some of the legitimate tobacco products from Philip Morris’ portfolio are being seized at the retailer by authorities,” a notice from the company has stated.
“These products have been properly imported by Micon Marketing Ltd and are compliant with current local regulations and applicable customs clearances for importation and commercialisation in T&T, having paid all corresponding taxes/duties to this end,” it stated.
Philip Morris said it is concerned that the seizures are being “executed without any factual information.”
“Such act(s) will adversely affect fair competition in the T&T tobacco industry, resulting in economic loss to local commercial businesses and the suppression of consumer choice in the local market,” it stated.
In case of any official inquiries pertaining to the legality of these products at your points of sale, we request that you immediately contact Brathwaite Law & Co to clarify any concerns.
According to Crime Stoppers “with billions of cigarettes being produced annually, the profits made from its illicit trade are huge. It is estimated that one full container of illicitly traded cigarettes can yield approximately US$1million in profits. Consequently, criminal networks are using the illicit trade to fund their transnational illegal activities.”