Tobacco ban fired up organised crime networks
Now that their reach has been extended, they are likely to be more difficult to stub out
Organised crime in SA is about to go into overdrive, and we can blame the lockdown and its bans on tobacco and alcohol.
Trade in tobacco and tobacco products was banned in SA for 143 days in response to the outbreak of Covid-19. At the time, critics warned that the ban would force the trade underground and strengthen the hand of organised crime. With the country now easing restrictions to level 1, this is an appropriate moment to examine trends and ask whether organised crime has indeed been strengthened. If so, what might this mean?..
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