BAT In Papua Agreement

British American Tobacco has signed an agreement with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary aimed at enhancing intelligence sharing in respect of illegal trade, according to a story in Papua New Guinea Today relayed by the TMA.

Papua New Guinea is said to lose K250 million (US$78 million) annually to tax evasion.

The co-operative relationship will include also various government departments and other law enforcement agencies.

BAT director Naved Manzoor reportedly said that there were social and economic repercussions to the illegal trade. ¡°When the money is not coming in through the right channel both the industry and the government is being depressed¡­,¡± he was quoted as saying.

¡°The more serious thing is the social aspect. From our experience from across the world, we are seeing that this illicit money which is supposed to be diverted to the economy has been used to conduct illegal activities.¡±

Police Commissioner Gary Baki said illicit trade remained a challenge for the RPNGC, which had a transnational crime unit and was in dialogue with other Pacific Island countries. ¡°If we can talk about partnerships with other countries and cannot control what is happening in our country, I think that is a big challenge for us¡­,¡± he said.

¡°Entering into this MOA [memorandum of agreement] gives us a stepping stone now to work together and curb this sale of illicit tobacco in the country¡­¡±  Enditem