The Australian government has announced a major border crackdown on illegal tobacco imports, The National Tribune reports.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) will receive A$188.5 million ($126 million) over four years to work with states and territories to develop new compliance models.
The Australian Border Force will lead a coordinated effort by federal, state and territory partners to address all aspects of illicit tobacco.
The model consists of three pillars: stopping the flow of illicit tobacco into Australia; improving Border Force’s ability to combat illicit tobacco trade at the border; and bringing stakeholders together to deliver a coordinated multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional response across states and territories.
The government's new approach will build on the significant results achieved with state and territory partners since the Illicit Tobacco Taskforce was established in July 2018 to further strengthen Australia's disruption and deterrence of illicit tobacco, the report said.
Michael Outram, commissioner of the British Tobacco Association, said: "The British Tobacco Association is committed to maintaining our tough stance on illicit tobacco. This funding will strengthen and modernize our efforts at the border and before illicit tobacco reaches our shores, air or seaports. The ability to stop illicit tobacco. We know that the illicit tobacco trade is systematically linked to serious organized crime groups and we will work with domestic and international partners to disrupt their illegal activities."