Hezbollah Financing Terrorism Through Cigarette Smuggling

In his article, 3 Out of 5 Cigarettes Sold in State With Highest Cigarette Taxes are Smuggled‘, Daniel Greenfield exposes black market sales of cigarettes in NY.

The open question here is whether New York is actually making less tax revenue on cigarettes due to its overtaxing of cigarettes. The question might be speculative if it weren’t for a figure like this:

…The Tax Foundation said that 60.9% of cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other states.

In New York City the tax rate is even higher, adding another $1.50 per pack to the state rate. It’s not uncommon for smokers to pay $12 for a pack.

The report said that tobacco smuggling and the tax rate have risen practically in tandem since 2006. The New York State tax on cigarettes has risen 190% since that time, as the rate of smuggling increased 170%. …

The faster the taxes go up, the more the market turns into the black market. This is a familiar enough phenomenon in Communist countries. Now all this might be economic fun and games, except for the troubling question of who profits from the smuggling:

Large scale cigarette smuggling networks in New York State are dominated by tight knit nationality-based networks, primarily families through blood or marriage of Lebanese, Yemeni, Jordanian and Palestinian descent.

Federal and New York State law enforcement officials estimate that nearly 60 percent of all convenience retail outlets in New York City are now Arab-owned, and with the Arab networks compartmentalized by ethnicity and family ties, the risk of infiltration by law enforcement is minimal.

In total, law enforcement officials in New York State estimate that well-organized cigarette smuggling networks generate between $200,000 – $300,000 per week. A large percentage of the money is believed to be sent back to the Middle East where it directly or indirectly finances groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Al Qaeda.

This information would seem to confirm an older article from the Northeast Intelligence Network:

According to the same federal source providing information to the Northeast Intelligence Network, Detroit is the main center of Hezbollah’s fundraising activity in the U.S. Their international operational budget is estimated to be $200-$500 million annually, including $100 million in contributions provided directly by Iran. Other sources of funding include Syria, U.S. and other national charitable organizations, individual donations, legitimate business, and illegal trade such as illegal arms trading, cigarette smuggling, currency counterfeiting, credit card fraud, theft, operating illegal telephone exchanges, and drug and arms trafficking.

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  • colliemum

    Why does Hezbollah need to smuggle cigarettes? Aren’t they being given everything from their masters in Syria and Iran?
    Oh wait …

    • W. A. Whitestone

      and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq and every other Islamic hell-hole – all of which fund terrorism.

      Some of the largest sources of terrorist funds are drugs and Western nations

    • mark1955

      And Washington?

      • Conniption Fitz

        The US is a Western nation.

        • mark1955

          It’s President isn’t “Western” is he?

          • PatrickHenrysBody

            To be Clintonesque, it depends on what your definition of “Western” is.

    • Are cigarettes banned in the middle east? Maybe I just figured out Ron Paul’s foreign policy! Legalize it as he likes to legalize pot, so that way cigarettes are too common and they’ll stop smuggling it! RON PAUL 2016!! 😛

      • Godisright

        Obama probably stuffed a few boxes in the 200 armored vehicles he just sent over to his buddies. Probably Camels.

      • PatrickHenrysBody

        Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco are frowned upon in Islam. However, if they are used in any capacity to help support terrorist activities and murder in the name of Jihadist Islam, that’s okay.

  • Gee, I guess the State Dept’s open borders policy and declaring all jihadist muslims to be the most desirable immigrants has worked out just fine for America, huh? Both our government and our enemies, but I repeat myself, are using American law to subvert our freedoms and destroy The Republic from within. The Constitution will be defended by patriots who have already sworn an oath to It, and we have steel in our spines and in our hands.

  • sjmom

    Ah yes, people will always find a way around paying the high state taxes and so unwittingly have been financing some terrorism.

    However, one of the largest terrorist financiers in the world is the US govt giving how many billions to Egypt which is run by the Muslim Brotherhood? Let’s not also forget about the money and whatever else given to the jihadists in Libya, Syria and other places. I would not be surprised if it was American weaponry which killed the four in Benghazi.

    Never did I think the American people would vote to destroy themselves but it seems they have. May God save us from the enemy within.

  • Joe

    Eric Holder is too busy investigating GIBSON GUITARS for wood smuggling

    Don’t bother him! Wood smuggling is a top priority !

    Another reason for


    • wadnnit

      reasons to impeach more than one

      • PatrickHenrysBody

        Reasons to impeach “The One”.

    • BlueGood

      Of course the terrorist learned directly from Natives…Russian Mobsters, pretty much all crime families are in to it big time.

      Read: SMOKESCREEN, published in 2001 by Paul William Roberts & Norman Snider

      A true account with documentation about Cal Broeker who not only worked undercover for the Secret service to almost single handedly cause the largest Counterfiet Bust in North American history, but he also worked undercover for the RCMP.

      Incredible true insight into the whole enchilada of Smuggling…..

    • notsofastthere

      Gibson paid the bribe in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and their wood was never returned to them. Gangster government and not enough outrage to help Gibson guitar out.

      • PatrickHenrysBody

        Didn’t you know a capitalist corporation is the enemy in the eyes of Zero and his administration? Of course Gibson is public enemy number one until the next public enemy number one comes along…which will be the next capitalist corporation they can find to extort.

  • I have been telling people this over and over again. Now apply this same scenario to legalized drugs because that is what will happen.

    Laws are for the lawful and those that break the laws aren’t suddenly going to be legitimate.

  • notsofastthere

    Since this is known we can assume the bribes to city officials is adequate, to allow this to continue. Fast and Furious, also a government operation by Holder/Obama/Clinton and the only result was to tighten control and add regulations on Border states gun shops.
    In NY we will soon hear about black market salt, sugar, soda, and transfats, and hospital breast feeding.

  • notsofastthere

    The best part is THIS IS IN ADDITION TO ALL THE FOREIGN AID WE GIVE TO THESE COUNTRIES and Welfare checks (oops EBT) to these criminals.
    We ARE the schmucks of the world.

  • louisiana_mom

    I also see a black market for salt, soda, and trans fats coming to NYC soon…

  • Nukeman60

    The faster the taxes go up, the more the market turns into the black market. This is a familiar enough phenomenon in Communist countries.

    Why did my mind wander to other communist countries similar to New York, like California and Illinois, when I read that comment? I guess it was only natural.

    There are two problems brought out by this article. One, of course, is the fact that liberal ideas of constantly rising higher taxes creates the illegal black market situations and never solves the revenue problem that they have. Does one even doubt that it will be the same for our weapons that are banned?

    The other problem is the smuggling for radical muslim goals. Does one even doubt that the numerous mosques going up around the country won’t be used (indeed are already being used) for the smuggling of funds and weapons for the radical islamic causes.


  • 3seven77

    And does anyone think the same thing won’t happen in Washington State with the legalization of marijuana? The state seems to think they’re going to rake in the $$$$ by taxing pot 25% at every level of the sale; so a $3 bag of pot will retail for $12. Will people be willing to pay that just to buy from a “legal” source? The black market in pot isn’t going away. Instead it’s guaranteed.

    • cabensg

      Outlaw anything ethical, or of moral value to society. Legalize anything immoral, or harmful to society. The liberal MO is no longer a secret.

  • unclesamnephew

    sin taxes never work as explained by “those who care” political types. now mayor little big gulp (bloomberg) thinks he is smarter than doctors and nurses. he wants to impose limits on pain meds. like that will ever work. i favor two asprins followed by two 12oz of my favorite adult beverage

    • notsofastthere

      We have a history of fighting tyrants, only to find out we that we now elect them to run our lives. We take it on the chin knowing at some point we will get used to it.

      • PatrickHenrysBody

        It seems we need to really feel the pain of tyrannical boots on our necks before we finally decide to prescribe our own “pain killer”.

        • cabensg

          We’re feelin it now, that’s for sure.

          • PatrickHenrysBody

            Yeah, and to think it could get worse.

  • My biggest question is, how did the Mafia in New York City allow this to happen? They usually take a dim view of anybody elbowing into their territory, especially when it means losing millions of dollars a year. Organized crime in New York City used to make a lot of money from illegal cigaretts brought into the city, so I’m just surprised they allowed this to happen. Does that mean that the Lebanese, Yemeni, Jordanian and Palestinian people involved in this racket are more violent now than the Mafia? I wouldn’t doubt it.

  • PatrickHenrysBody

    This doesn’t surprise me. Too bad we can’t deport the whole lot, especially the extremists in Michigan. As long as Zero and his horde are in power, this will continue. Zero is a radical Islamist’s friend. As long as they are allowed to operate freely in the U.S., they forgive the whole Osama bin Laden thing *wink* *wink*.

  • cabensg

    So nice to know liberal policies are still screwing our country. Everything they touch turns to shit and then we have to try to clean it up.

  • hongryhawg

    Just ban cigarettes. They kill more people than guns.

    • tinlizzieowner

      We’ll come back for the guns later, right? 😉

  • tinlizzieowner

    The northeastern folks are all vacationing down here in Florida right now. When they leave, the trunks of their cars will be packed with cartons of cigarettes so they and their friends don’t have to pay the high cigarette taxes they didn’t fight in their own states. I work in a store that sells a lot of cigarettes, this isn’t sarcasm, it’s a fact.

  • Has Biden set up a committee to investigate?