What is heroin, you say? Cocaine? Automatic weapons?
Try cigarettes. As Western countries hike taxes higher and higher to try to curb smoking, black-market, dirt-cheap smokes are flooding the markets.
Some are counterfeits, rolled out by the millions in filthy factories literally buried underground in southern China. Some are legit, smuggled from low-tax states such as South Carolina to higher-tax cities such as New York, or from Latin American countries to the U.S.
Check out tomorrow's New Times for a cover story about Miami's black-market cigarette trade -- and its surprising ties to a deadly European terrorist group. Because Florida's cigarette taxes will jump to 300 percent beginning tomorrow, experts say underground smokes are set to explode in the Sunshine State.
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In the meantime, check out the excellent ongoing investigation into the global black-market cigarette trade by the Center for Public Integrity. The group's latest report -- a rare look into China's counterfeiting industry -- was published just this week.