MORE than one million packets of counterfeit or "fong kong" cigarettes were sold in South Africa every day last year. So as a result R5-billion in VAT and excise duties due to the government went up in smoke.
Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa chief executive Francois van der Merwe said there had been a national increase in the problem with Gauteng leading the pack, followed by the Western Cape and then the Eastern Cape.
"[It] erodes the legal industry, fuels criminality, defrauds government of revenue and undermines health because people have a choice to move to cheap products instead of quitting." – Nashira Davids