Fin24

Millions of cigarettes shredded

2011-07-08 12:01

Johannesburg - Thirty three million counterfeit cigarettes with an estimated street value of R24m were destroyed this week, the Tobacco Institute of SA (Tisa) said on Friday.

Tisa chief executive officer Francois van der Merwe said the illegal trade in cigarettes comprised more than 20% of the total cigarette market in South Africa.

He said the illegal trading defrauded the South African economy of R3bn a year in unpaid taxes.

The cigarettes were destroyed using hammer mills that destroyed the cigarettes into fine shredding.

A total of 225 million fake cigarettes were destroyed between January and June, van der Merwe said.