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ASEAN, Australia to jointly combat illicit tobacco issues

Customs officials from ASEAN and Australia have agreed to jointly combat the illicit tobacco trade through further collaboration. This agreement involves a joint Task Force operation, the first of its kind conducted by ASEAN with a Dialogue Partner.

This agreement was formed during a virtual workshop on 3-5 November, hosted by the Australian Border Force and supported by the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation. This workshop highlighted, among other things, the economic issues that illicit tobacco poses to the region.

In the past more than half of all cigarettes in this region entered it illicitly, causing billions of dollars of lost revenue. Additionally, the proceeds from illicit tobacco are known to fund other illegal activities, which further harm communities in the region.

The Task Force will reportedly begin its work in 2021. 

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