HOW MAYOR BLOOMBERG FUNDS AL QAEDA
New York has the highest cigarette tax rate of any state, and nearly two-thirds of the state’s cigarette market is illegal, announced the think tank Tax Foundation on Thursday.
In New York City the tax rate is even higher, adding another $1.50 per pack to the state rate. It’s not uncommon for smokers to pay $12 for a pack.
Large scale cigarette smuggling networks in New York State are dominated by tight knit nationality-based networks, primarily families through blood or marriage of Lebanese, Yemeni, Jordanian and Palestinian descent.
Federal and New York State law enforcement officials estimate that nearly 60 percent of all convenience retail outlets in New York City are now Arab-owned, and with the Arab networks compartmentalized by ethnicity and family ties, the risk of infiltration by law enforcement is minimal.
In total, law enforcement officials in New York State estimate that well-organized cigarette smuggling networks generate between $200,000 – $300,000 per week. A large percentage of the money is believed to be sent back to the Middle East where it directly or indirectly finances groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Al Qaeda.
…maybe they can get into large sodas next.
3 Out of 5 Cigarettes Sold in State With Highest Cigarette Taxes are Smuggled