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At least a quarter of the cigarette market in SA is illicit, resulting in significant losses to the fiscus, Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa chairman Francois van der Merwe told MPs on Wednesday.Van der Merwe was one of a number of presenters who appeared before Parliament's standing committee on finance to address the question of the illicit tobacco trade. Also present were representatives of Treasury, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the Financial Intelligence Centre, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks.Van der Merwe referred to estimates that the fiscus had lost more than R27bn in unpaid taxes on tobacco products between 2010 and 2016, and that the trend was continuing."One of the consequences of tax manipulation by certain players is that the legal, tax-compliant tobacco sector is losing market share to the illegal sector at an alarming rate. At least a quarter of the cigarette market in SA is illicit with certain channels selling 50% to 100% [of]...

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