Illicit Cigarette Trafficking and the Funding of Terrorism

Since the dawn of terrorism, procuring finances sufficient to sustain terror operations has been a priority for terrorists. The illicit sale of cigarettes and other commodities by terrorist groups and their supporters has become a crucial part of their funding activities.

Raising the tax on cigarettes widens the difference between the wholesale price and the retail price of the product and inadvertently creates opportunity for traffickers, who evade the tax and gain the profits. Today cigarette traffickers can make as much as $60 per carton of cigarettes sold illicitly.