Regulatory News
September 25
The Federal Police arrested 33 people, including 13 police officers, accused of participating in a cigarette smuggling scheme from Paraguay to Brazil. Some 280 agents worked in the operation against the gang, which had ramifications in seven states: Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Goiás and Alagoas. According to investigations, in 2017 alone, 1200 semi-trailer loads of illegal tobacco shipments were brought into Brazil by the gang.

Accused of facilitating the scheme, detained police come from different sectors: Highway Police, Civil Police and Military Police. Appointed head of the gang, Ângelo Guimarães Ballerini was arrested during his wedding reception in a luxury hotel in Maceió, capital of Alagoas.
September 17
Contraband cigarettes in Brazil that are produced in Paraguay grow exponentially not only in the states closest to the border between the two countries and in the large capitals of the Southeast, which is the largest consumer markets. In the Northeast, despite the great distance to Paraguay, this illegal trade is gaining increasing proportions.

The 2017 survey shows that only 4 billion illegal units were consumed in the states of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Alagoas and Rio Grande do Norte, resulting in a loss of R $500 million (US$120 million) in uncollected taxes.

According to the study, in three years, the cigarette smuggling market increased 222% in Alagoas and 149% in Pernambuco.
August 28
Signed by 40 countries, the Protocol on the Elimination of Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (ITP), a document from the World Health Organization, is expected to become international law later this year. However, experts believe the document will have little practical effect in Latin America, where only Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay have accepted it.

"It would be fundamental for Paraguay, which now has a new government, to accept it because the country produces 60 billion cigarettes per year, but domestic consumption and legal exports reach a maximum of 7.5 billion. That is: 52 billion are smuggled," says the president of the Brazilian Institute of Competitive Ethics, Edson Vismona.

According to him, the protocol could be an additional element for Brazil to intensify the integration of safety enforcement in the fight against smuggling.

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