“Make no mistake, these criminal syndicates – and their associated offending linked to illicit tobacco – have the complete attention of police and we will do everything we can to bring this to an end and hold those responsible to account,” Inspector Kennedy said.
The words illegal and illicit, of course, are trite code for un-taxed. But is there anything immoral about supplying a fairly priced and legal-to-use product whose consumers are being flagrantly extorted by a Godfather-like purveyor of monopolised violence? Not at all. The Lord enjoined us to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, not foolishly donate extras he has no right to have. For there is something immoral about knowingly creating a black market that unleashes predictably disastrous externalities. Just as the US Volstead Act of 1919 led to Al Capone, $50 cigarettes will lead to turf brawls and worse. Policemen have better things to do than wack competitors on behalf of government racketeers.