How cigarettes funded Balkan wars

Posted on August 8, 2008 

How cigarettes funded Balkan wars

In the second of two pieces on organised crime accompanying his Radio 4 series How crime took on the world, Misha Glenny reveals the details of a cigarette-smuggling scam that funded many of the paramilitary killing machines in the Yugoslav wars.

The first counterfeit cigarettes appeared on the markets of the former Yugoslavia just days after the war broke out in June 1991.

These were fake Marlboros, Rothmans, Winstons and other well-known brands that had been manufactured in different parts of the Balkans and beyond.

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