Australia’s Cigarette Wars Turn Violent

Australia is facing an uphill climb in its battle against a flood of illegal cigarettes (known as “chop-chop”), and recent news suggests organized crime groups have decided to up the ante. Earlier this month, reports emerged that a British American Tobacco (BAT) executive was stabbed by three men outside his Sydney home back in June. In what was apparently a botched kidnap attempt, the BAT manager (a former NSW policeman who had been working closely with law enforcement to combat smuggling) managed to fight off his assailants before being taken to hospital. The attack, which has understandably shocked the law enforcement community, has been linked to BAT’s support for police efforts to tackle the burgeoning illegal tobacco trade.