Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
27 Feb 2021
1:05 pm

Fita calls for investigations into ‘inter alia smuggling’ against British American Tobacco

Citizen Reporter

"BAT knowingly and internationally started to oversupply cigarettes to Mali soon after the north fell to militants, knowing its product would be fodder for traffickers." Fita

Picture: iStock

 

The Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) said that it was not surprised by the revelations into allegations of inter alia smuggling against British American Tobacco (BAT)and a host of other multinationals in West Africa.

This was revealed in a recent report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

Fita has since called for further investigations into these allegations.

“It appears Big Tobacco feels they can indefinitely continue to act with impunity, not only in South Africa but throughout the entire African continent,” Fita said in a statement.

“We further call for the immediate release of the findings of the independent investigation which was commissioned by BATSA in 2016 into the host of allegations such as corruption, money-laundering, and espionage against this particular multinational.”

Fita said that it has long stated on record that multinational cigarette manufacturers “are the proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing who seek to divert the attention away from their multiple shenanigans by continuously pointing their dirty fingers at smaller independent local cigarette manufacturers.”

It said that these manufactures were using the media to direct law enforcement agencies and government bodies to their competitors whose operations and influence are incomparable.

“What is most shocking about these new allegations is the revelation that BAT knowingly and internationally started to oversupply cigarettes to Mali soon after the north fell to militants, knowing its product would be fodder for traffickers, according to dozens of interviews,” reads the statement.

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The narrative advanced by multinationals tobacco manufacturers only serve to advance the commercial interests and that not in any way done with the best intentions of any state they trade in, despite what they seek to portray.

“They have repeatedly been caught with their pants down throughout the globe while using their power and influence to point the authorities towards their commercial competitors.”

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