Strategic Containment of Contraband Tobacco and Cigarette Trafficking in Canada
Canadian law enforcement seizures of contraband tobacco routinely include high-powered weapons, hard and designer drugs, stolen vehicles and other merchandise, and lots of cash. Indeed the week this report was released, police in Quebec carried out 70 raids and made 60 arrests against an international criminal network involved in drug and contraband tobacco trafficking, and money laundering, in the largest anti-contraband operation to date. Contraband tobacco is lucrative, it is produced and trafficked systematically alongside other illicit goods, and Canadian crime syndicates are heavily invested in its proceeds. Globally, money from contraband tobacco and cigarettes is a major source of revenue for the likes of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah, whose contraband fundraising activities in North America have been subject to indictments.