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Accusations of Espionage and Sabotage in SA Tobacco Industry

| Crime and security

Small manufacturers in the tobacco industry have taken on big business, accusing multi-national cigarette companies of corporate espionage and sabotage, and claiming to have the evidence to prove it.

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita) says its lawyers have made contact with the authorities to lodge numerous criminal cases.

Fita has however declined to name the implicated companies.

The association says it’s conducted its own investigation, which has exposed a network of spies which conduct covert operations to obtain information about its members.

It says private investigators have illegally trespassed on private property to plant bugging devices on behalf of multinationals.

Fita further accuses the big companies of manufacturing and passing off false information to law enforcement agencies to disrupt member business operations.

Fita’s Sinen Mnguni is reluctant to elaborate on the claims.

“We will be releasing press releases in the next few weeks, for everyone to be informed as to what transpiring in the local tobacco industry.”

He says their attorneys are preparing to lodge matters in the courts.

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