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The cigarette black market in Germany and in the United Kingdom

Klaus von Lampe (Faculty of Law, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 1 April 2006




The research aims at providing a comprehensive assessment of the cigarette black market in Germany and the UK within the framework of the study of organized crime.


The particular approach upon which this paper is based is a systematic, cross‐national review of open sources, including media reports and government documents. The information gleaned from these sources is transferred into a classificatory scheme derived from the analysis of organized crime.


While similarities exist regarding the inner workings of the cigarette black market, interesting variations between the two countries emerge, including an asynchronicity of the developmental process and differences in modus operandi. In addition to cross‐national differences, striking regional variations in the prevalence and character of black market activity exist within each country. This leads to the conclusion that a multitude of factors have to be considered to account for the overall dynamics and specific manifestations of the cigarette black market.

Research limitations/implications

In future research the database needs to be broadened beyond open sources.

Practical implications

Policy decisions with the aim to curb the cigarette black market have to take the apparent complexity of causal and intervening factors into account. The level of taxation is just one of several factors.


No comparative analysis of the cigarette black markets in Germany and the UK has previously been available.



von Lampe, K. (2006), "The cigarette black market in Germany and in the United Kingdom", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 235-254.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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