“Cigarette Smuggling for Greenhorns”: Recent Patterns of Illegal Tobacco Trade in the Czech Republic (2016)

Authors: Petr Kupka and Kateřina Tvrdá 

Abstract

One of the countries impacted to a lesser degree by the illegal trade in tobacco products is the Czech Republic. Recently the proportion of counterfeit or smuggled cigarettes declined by approximately 3 % of the market while decentralisation and fragmentation are the main processes underlining the black trade in tobacco products. In spite of this, the illegal sector in the CR has taken on country-specific characteristics attributable to geographic location, and these have also significantly impacted domestic distribution. Until 2014 there was no existing official, expert, or scientific dataset focused on the black market in tobacco and on its actors and their relationships. This study is the first to report comprehensively on the form taken by black-market trade in tobacco products in the Czech Republic. The main objective of the study is to uncover the dominant patterns of the illegal tobacco market structure, the modus operandi of the distribution chain and financial management of the trade. The paper is based on the analysis of official documents, interviews with security experts, and interviews with those involved in criminal activity centred on tobacco products.

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