Since a series of press exposés in 2000-2001 documented the tobacco industry’s extensive history of smuggling, the industry has seemingly retreated from the practice. Yet for Britain’s largest cigarette manufacturer, Gallaher Tobacco, the smuggling may have continued. According to lawsuits brought by former Gallaher distributor Ptolomeos Tlais, the company used companies like his to funnel large quantities of cigarettes to developing countries with no real market — and then smuggle them back into the European Union.
Here are some of the key documents related to the lawsuits:
The Affidavit — Former Gallaher executive Norman Jack reveals how the company set up its smuggling strategy.
The Verdict — A British judge rejected Tlais’s breach of contract suit against Gallaher, but found the company’s practices “gave rise to a risk of smuggling.”
The Dirty Deal — Gallaher arranged with Tlais to dump tons of moldy cigarettes overseas, while U.K. customs officials signed off on the deal.
The Moratorium — When Japan Tobacco International bought Gallaher in 2007, it also got a two-year moratorium on European Union enforcement of smuggling laws against Gallaher.