Between the caterpillars and the cigarettes, British Customs is having quite a couple of days. Officials at the port of Southampton discovered 30 million cigarettes in shipping containers reported as containing wind turbine parts.
It’s really kind of genius. Well, not so genius, because it didn’t work. But the idea of using “green” commerce to engage in commerce that is not only not green but also illegal, well, there is a certain poetry to it.
The cigarettes were believed to be Chinese counterfeits, first loaded onto a ship in the Shenzhen region of China. And the people behind these shenanigans were trying to get out of paying about £8 million ($12.1 million) in taxes, a mere fraction of the £1.8 billion ($2.7 billion) the British government loses to tobacco fraud. The cigarettes were destroyed and burned at a power station to provide some juice for the National Grid, and so, in the end, were not able to escape an at least semi-green-ish destiny.