Tobacco: Taskforce busts tobacco growers

08 Mar 2021 - Alcohol & Tobacco

Authorities have made one of the biggest tobacco busts on record, uncovering more than $84 million in illegal crops on farms near the NSW-Victorian border. The enormous find puts a big dent in a growing area of influence for organised crime groups around the country. Growing tobacco has not been legal in Australia since 2006 but an increase in taxes and the introduction of plain packaging has made growing increasingly lucrative for criminal syndicates. ATO Assistant Commissioner Ian Read said: “Tobacco growing operations are not run by small producers or farmers. They are run by organised crime syndicates who deliberately engage in illegal activities to fund their extravagant lifestyles and other criminal activity.”

Daily Telegraph; 08/03/2021; Page 4​