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Imperial Tobacco welcomes illegal grower conviction

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Imperial Tobacco New Zealand welcomes the conviction of two illegal tobacco growers yesterday, and congratulates the Customs Service on a successful investigation.

"The illegal manufacture of tobacco deprives the taxpayer of tax revenue and undermines public health initiatives. This will also enable underage New Zealanders to access tobacco products more easily," says Paul Warham Imperial Tobacco market manager.

The 4,790 kilograms of illegally manufactured tobacco would have made approximately 6.8 million cigarettes, which would have been much cheaper to buy than legally manufactured product.

"The total fines of $7,500 are less than 1% of the profit that these men would have made from selling their tobacco illegally," said Mr Warham.

"Imperial Tobacco was pleased to provide the Customs Service with the benefit of our expertise by assisting in this investigation. As a law-abiding company, we think it is important that we do our part to help crack down on illegal tobacco manufacture."

"Imperial Tobacco is concerned that increases in the tobacco excise are likely to encourage more illegal manufacture of tobacco, as legitimate products get more expensive for consumers. Imperial Tobacco therefore looks forward to continuing to assist the Customs Service with investigations into illegal tobacco manufacture in the future."

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