King Tobacco, Balkan Crime Lord

Cigarette counterfeiting and smuggling in the Balkans is one of the primary drivers of crime and corruption in the region, according to a coalition of investigative reporting projects.

Bosnia-Herzegovina alone is estimated to lose $200 million each year in tax revenue from tobacco smuggling, a sum that could approach billions worldwide.

The Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project, with bureaus and partners in Sarajevo, Albania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and else- where, has assembled a massive investigative package on tobacco smuggling, and particularly the involvement of government officials in the region.

High prices and taxes on tobacco in the West are driving the smuggling boom, with a packet of cigarettes purchased in Ukraine for less than a euro selling for seven euros in London.

Extortion, murder are common, and a variety of dubious and notorious public figures are implicated, according to the report.

These include the leaders of an irish Republican Army offshoot, who critics say are buying “prime” land on the Bulgarian coast using smuggling proceeds; the brother of Romania’s Transport Minister, who controls a chain of “lucrative” duty free shops that police say are hubs for laundering and smuggling cigarettes; family members of the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who died in prison while on trial for war crimes; and officials in Ukraine, Moldova, Montenegro and elsewhere.

The problem is so bad that the smuggling industry has grown into the “fourth or fifth largest competitor” to Phillip Morris International, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies.


“Project: Tobacco”
Organized Crime & Corruption Reporting Project, February 2008

4 thoughts on “King Tobacco, Balkan Crime Lord

  1. Crime has always been around so will smuggling tobacco, counterfeit goods, all things that have a supply and demand i Know of Kareem Naveed, Ali Ahmed, Saheer Ahmed Who supplies most of counterfeit handbags in London and the South East and Wales. They have a long string of helpers including one called Naleyeh Probert who is the Bagman for them. These people are criminally minded and nothing can take away what they are they will always have that urge to commit crime. I am a private investigator on a small crime group these I have mentioned are the main ones, Naleyeh was a student before he turned to using crime to make money. How do I Know I knew is family, the older protege’s of his deal in stolen cars everything. You see the way to stop organised crime is to get them before they pose any real threat after this point it is virtually impossible they could be funding anything there money is untraceable and they are invisible taking low profiles and not dressing in flashy clothing that would advertise themselves as modern day fashionable fools…

  2. Criminals who profit from crime

    Criminals who profit from crime, can the majority of the time be seen to be lazy relying on the state for handouts, conning people here and there. Then are the street gangs that dabble in drugs, and street robberies. Then the drug dealers who supply to the lower echelon who in turn get supplied by the crime bosses who own pubs, clubs etc.
    My article is not on these who long –term pose no threat because they have always been around more disturbing still is the violent enterprenual criminals who show no sign of being criminally minded but in fact they are the worst out of the whole criminal fraternity put together. I am talking of freuds with enemies for years willing to wait months, years to intimidate or eliminate there enemies. These like most criminals don’t have name tags on them. But what I have been researching into certainly opened my eyes recently, just imagine there is a set of thiefs or criminals who ingage in criminal activities but use any proceeds made to funnel into taking them into legitimate businesses. But at the same time always having something to do with crime. And I have to say there is a set of individuals who operate unlike no other criminals. They dress in conservative manner , with no sign of a fashion. They pose as just normal people but really are full of secrets and operate like no other I have every researched. A few months back a group based in london and of Islamic ideas and a hate towards the norm and other criminals were committing themselves to various criminal acts , trading counterfeit goods
    And stolen goods identity theft, white collar . With around 12 -15 of them they had spread themselves out across the capital and home counties but at the same time exchanging information on enemies items for sale , potential enemies, and legitimate business. Even having people within the police force as helpers.
    Using balaclavas, Schemagh Scarfs, guns, knives, choppers to protect and inforce themselves even if they would have to wait years for there revenge. They would get to anybody they wanted at the least time they were expecting it. I find this a very intimidating way of behaviouring a almost evil way, but at the same time maybe they have reasons for these crazy ways of thinking. Names that kept coming up in my research were Nadhim Auchi a Rich Iraqi with business interests from manufacturing to property. Then a Algerian named Kareem Fassoli and Cousin Samir Fassoli , others were Naveed Hussain, Ali Ahmed , Saheer Ahmed , and one name that kept being accoiated with Fassoli Brothers. Naleyeh Probert a student and by night petty thief and criminal. Who was the helper of the older Entourage with the help of his friends Mojahid Ali and other network of petty criminals they helped distribute counterfeit and stolen goods. In different ways usually being out of work, but still trying to get the majority of there proceeds from crime. And investing it in legitimate ideas internet selling, websites etc, shares, anything that would take the words away taking without consent.

  3. The Maedhi gang

    There is a loosly knit group called the El Madhi named after the 12 imam and the Madhi in Iraq.They are all thieves and are in favour for the death penalty and survey beatings for drug dealers, pimps, street gangs, and other criminals, they have reported being known as to stealing ancient artifacts and protecting themselves with guns,knifes,sledgehammers, bayonets, swords, they use balaclavas and schemagh scarfs they gather intelligence on enemies and conspire to kidnappings, and getting anybody who threatens them they wait for the time until there enemy has forgotten his wrong doing after that there is no turning back. They are reported to be taking very seriously there name is said to be graffited around south london,with bases on innercity estates and usually hide-out in the home counties…

  4. Barnar Gershenson (changed to Barnard)
    Birth Place : Leninabad, Russian Republic