Press release FITA 20 November 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We welcome the South African Revenue Service’s (SARS) announcement to members of parliament on 19 November 2019 that it is taking steps to tackle the illicit cigarette trade.

We have over the last 3 months assisted the South African Police Service in seizing over 4 000 master cases of cigarettes, which quantity would attract over R 38 million in taxes alone, smuggled through our various border posts from our neighbouring countries. This amount is only ...

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Press release FITA 04 November 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We have today, after many attempts at engagement, served a request on British American Tobacco South Africa (“BATSA”) in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, Act 2 of 2000 (“PAIA”).

In September 2016 BATSA announced that it had severed ties with forensic investigation firm Forensic Security Services(“FSS”) which had been accused of illegally spying on BATSA’s competitors and colluding with law enforcement agencies to force competitors out of the market.

It has ...

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Press release FITA 25 October 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We note and welcome the announcement by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni that the South African Revenue Service is to commission a study into the size of the country’s illicit economy, which study would look into inter alia the size of the illicit trade in cigarettes which has dominated talk in the media for the last number of years largely in part due to the desire of multinational tobacco companies to overstate the size ...

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Press release FITA 02 September 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We commend the continued efforts of both the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) and the South African Police Service (“SAPS”) in ensuring that compliance risks in the tobacco industry along the value chain are kept at a minimum. The detention of a truck containing 1166 cases of cigarettes worth more than R 11 million excluding profit margins (Excise R 8 330.00 + VAT  = R 9579.50 x 1166 = R 11 169 697.00), and not over ...

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Press release FITA 16 August 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We wish to extend our gratitude to everyone, both locally and abroad, who has sent their well wishes to our organisation and our two members who were victims of a senseless and cowardly attack outside our offices on Wednesday 14 August 2019. Thankfully, there were no casualties and the two members are out of danger.

We collectively, as an organisation, take this threat to our security and lives very seriously, and are committed to ...

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Media Statement release FITA 15 August 2019

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Media Statement – FITA – for immediate release

We note the numerous media enquiries directed at our organisation relating to an incident which occurred outside our offices yesterday, 14 August 2019.

We confirm the occurrence of an incident outside our offices yesterday. In this regard FITA will issue a statement during the course of today.

We further confirm that members of the SAPS attended at our offices for purposes of conducting their investigations and they were inter alia handed CCTV footage of the ...

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Press release FITA 08 August 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We have in our previous press releases alluded to evidence of too many instances in the past which point to various practices by certain role-players in the tobacco industry that speak to unfair treatment of some by the state, preferential treatment in other cases and various anti-competitive practices. Of late it had seemed that government and its various bodies were listening to our concerns and were taking steps to bring these practices to ...

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Press release FITA 30 July 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We note the renewed interest by the media in allegations of questionable practices by multinational tobacco companies, their employees and/or agents, the private security firms associated with them, officials and/or agents of law enforcement agencies, and government officials that first surfaced during the ructions at the South African Revenue Service in 2014.

We also note the continued denial and deflection of these allegations by the main protagonists in this entire debacle. The same wolves ...

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Press release FITA 21 June 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

It has come to our attention that certain multinational cigarette manufacturers have again resorted to desperate, unlawful and anti-competitive measures in order to maintain their market dominance in a market that has undergone significant shifts insofar the dynamics between the traditional large and more known multinationals and the local manufacturers.

The multinationals have resorted to bribing consumers (not the first time bribery has featured in the same sentence as these companies) by inter alia offering free ...

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Press release FITA 7 June 2019

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Press release – FITA – for immediate release

We wish to alert new Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”), Edward Kieswetter, to the growing pressure in a number of African countries to hold multinational cigarette manufacturers, and in particular British American Tobacco (“BAT”), to account in relation to their base erosion and profit shifting schemes, which schemes rob the fiscus of a number of developing countries of billions.

A recent study by the Tax Justice Network (“TJN”),which focused on BAT’s ...

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