Iran is losing out on tax revenue from tobacco because two out of three cigarettes smoked nationwide are smuggled into the country, the official IRNA news agency said Thursday.
"Currently 45 billion cigarettes are smoked annually in Iran, 30 billion of which are smuggled into the country without earning any tax revenue for the government," free-trade zone official Hossein Nasiri said, cited by IRNA.
Iran's free-trade zones (FTZs) have recently been accused of being bases for massive smuggling operations, while FTZ officials contend the contraband operations were in place long before the zones were created.
Iran has three main free-trade zones -- the islands of Qeshm, Kish and the port of Shahbahr in the Gulf -- designated for offshore banks and industries. – (AFP)
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