Smuggling is the clandestine transportation of goods or persons, such as out of a building, into a prison
A prison is a place in which people are physically confined and, usually, deprived of a range of personal freedoms. Imprisonment or incarceration is a legal penalty that may be imposed by the state for the commission of a crime...
, or across an international border
Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...
, in violation of applicable law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...
s or other regulations.
There are various motivations to smuggle. These include the participation in illegal trade, such as in the drug trade
Illegal drug trade
The illegal drug trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of those substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs by drug prohibition laws.A UN report said the...
, in illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...
or illegal emigration
Illegal emigration refers to a person moving across national borders in a way that violates emigration laws. Such a person may legally go abroad and refuse to return when demanded by the country of origin....
, tax evasion
Tax avoidance and tax evasion
Tax noncompliance describes a range of activities that are unfavorable to a state's tax system. These include tax avoidance, which refers to reducing taxes by legal means, and tax evasion which refers to the criminal non-payment of tax liabilities....
, providing contraband
The word contraband, reported in English since 1529, from Medieval French contrebande "a smuggling," denotes any item which, relating to its nature, is illegal to be possessed or sold....
to a prison inmate, or the theft
In common usage, theft is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent. The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting and fraud...
of the items being smuggled. Examples of non-financial motivations include bringing banned items past a security checkpoint (such as airline security
Airline security refers to the procedures and infrastructure designed to avoid security problems aboard aircraft. A related area is airport security. Security for air travel is primarily based in airports...
) or the removal of classified document
Classified information is sensitive information to which access is restricted by law or regulation to particular groups of persons. A formal security clearance is required to handle classified documents or access classified data. The clearance process requires a satisfactory background investigation...
s from a government or corporate office.
Smuggling in literature
Smuggling in literature
This list of smuggling in fiction includes works of fiction where smuggling is a prominent theme. Smuggling is a common trope or theme in literature and can be found in a wide range of works – from the 18th century novels of Charlotte Turner Smith to Prosper Mérimée's 19th century novella, Carmen...
is a common theme, from Bizet's Carmen to the James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...
books (and later films) Diamonds are Forever
Diamonds Are Forever
Diamonds Are Forever may refer to:In literature;* Diamonds Are Forever , the fourth novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series* Diamonds Are Forever, a 2004 short novel by Ryk E...
Goldfinger is the seventh novel in Ian Fleming's James Bond series, first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape on 23 March 1959. Goldfinger originally bore the title The Richest Man in the World and was written in January and February 1958...
Etymologyfrom Low German smuggeln or Dutch smokkelen (="to transport (goods) illegally"), apparently a frequentative formation of a word meaning "to sneak" most likely entered the English Language during the 1600 - 1700's http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=smuggler
HistorySmuggling has a long and controversial history, probably dating back to the first time at which duties were imposed in any form, or any attempt was made to prohibit a form of traffic.
In England smuggling first became a recognised problem in the 13th century, following the creation of a national customs collection system by Edward I in 1275. Medieval smuggling tended to focus on the export of highly taxed export goods — notably wool and hides. Merchants also, however, sometimes smuggled other goods to circumvent prohibitions or embargoes on particular trades. Grain, for instance, was usually prohibited from export, unless prices were low, because of fears that grain exports would raise the price of food in England and thus cause food shortages and / or civil unrest. Following the loss of Gascony
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; sometimes they are considered to overlap, and sometimes Gascony is considered a...
to the French in 1453, imports of wine were also sometimes embargoed during wars to try and deprive the French of the revenues that could be earned from their main export. One study of smuggling in Bristol in the mid-16th century, based on the records of merchant-smugglers, has shown that the illicit export of goods like grain and leather represented a significant part of the city's business, with many members of the civic elite engaging in it. Grain smuggling by members of the civic elite, often working closely with corrupt customs officers, has also been shown to have been prevalent in East Anglia during the later 16th century.
In England wool continued to be smuggled to the continent in the 17th century, under the pressure of high excise taxes. In 1724 Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...
wrote of Lymington
Lymington is a port on the west bank of the Lymington River on the Solent, in the New Forest district of Hampshire, England. It is to the east of the South East Dorset conurbation, and faces Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight which is connected to it by a car ferry, operated by Wightlink. The town...
, Hampshire, on the south coast of England
"I do not find they have any foreign commerce, except it be what we call smuggling and roguing; which I may say, is the reigning commerce of all this part of the English coast, from the mouth of the Thames to the Land's End in Cornwall."
The high rates of duty levied on tea and also wine and spirits, and other luxury goods coming in from mainland Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...
at this time made the clandestine import of such goods and the evasion of the duty a highly profitable venture for impoverished fishermen and seafarers. In certain parts of the country such as the Romney Marsh
Romney Marsh is a sparsely populated wetland area in the counties of Kent and East Sussex in the south-east of England. It covers about 100 mi ² .-Quotations:*“As Egypt was the gift of the Nile, this level tract .....
, East Kent
East Kent and West Kent are one-time traditional subdivisions of the English county of Kent, kept alive by the Association of the Men of Kent and Kentish Men: an organisation formed in 1913...
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...
and East Cleveland
Cleveland is an area in the north east of England. Its name means literally "cliff-land", referring to its hilly southern areas, which rise to nearly...
, the smuggling industry was for many communities more economically significant than legal activities such as farming and fishing. The principal reason for the high duty was the need for the government to finance a number of extremely expensive war
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...
s with France and the United States.
Before the era of drug smuggling and human trafficking, smuggling had acquired a kind of nostalgic romanticism, in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist and travel writer. His best-known books include Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde....
"Few places on the British coast did not claim to be the haunts of wreckers or mooncussers. The thievery was boasted about and romanticized until it seemed a kind of heroism. It did not have any taint of criminality and the whole of the south coast had pockets vying with one another over whose smugglers were the darkest or most daring. The Smugglers Inn was one of the commonest names for a bar on the coast".
In Henley Road, smuggling in colonial times
The Townshend Acts were a series of laws passed beginning in 1767 by the Parliament of Great Britain relating to the British colonies in North America. The acts are named after Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who proposed the program...
was a reaction to the heavy taxes and regulations imposed by mercantilist trade policies. After American independence
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...
in 1783, smuggling developed at the edges of the United States at places like Passamaquoddy Bay
Passamaquoddy Bay is an inlet of the Bay of Fundy, between the U.S. state of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick, at the mouth of the St. Croix River. Most of the bay lies within Canada, with its western shore bounded by Washington County, Maine. The southernmost point is formed by...
, St. Mary's
St. Marys, Georgia
-See also:*Cumberland Island*St. Marys Historic District*St. Marys Railroad-External links:***...
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...
, Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States but partially situated across the Canada—United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of...
, and Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...
. During Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...
's embargo of 1807-1809
Embargo Act of 1807
The Embargo Act of 1807 and the subsequent Nonintercourse Acts were American laws restricting American ships from engaging in foreign trade between the years of 1807 and 1812. The Acts were diplomatic responses by presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison designed to protect American interests...
, these same places became the primary places where goods were smuggled out of the nation in defiance of the law. Like Britain, a gradual liberalization of trade laws as part of the free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...
movement meant less smuggling. in 1907 President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...
tried to cut down on smuggling by establishing the Roosevelt Reservation
The Roosevelt Reservation is a strip of land on the United States side of the United States-Mexico Border under the jurisdiction of the United States Federal Government. It was established in a 1907 Presidential Proclamation The Roosevelt Reservation is a strip of land on the United States side...
along the United States-Mexico Border. Smuggling revived in the 1920s during Prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...
, and drug smuggling became a major problem after 1970. In the 1990s, when economic sanctions were imposed on Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...
, a large percent of the population lived off smuggling petrol and consumer goods from neighboring countries. The state unofficially allowed this to continue or otherwise the entire economy would have collapsed.
In modern times, as many first-world countries
The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the United States. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a...
have struggled to contain a rising influx of immigrants, the smuggling of people across national borders has become a lucrative extra-legal activity, as well as the extremely dark side, people-trafficking, especially of women who may be enslaved typically as prostitutes.
Much smuggling occurs when enterprising merchants attempt to supply demand for a good or service that is illegal or heavily taxed. As a result, illegal drug trafficking, and the smuggling of weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...
s (illegal arms trade), as well as the historical staples of smuggling, alcohol
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...
, are widespread. As the smuggler faces significant risk of civil and criminal penalties if caught with contraband, smugglers are able to impose a significant price premium on smuggled goods. The profits involved in smuggling goods appear to be extensive.
Profits also derive from avoiding taxes or levies on imported goods. For example, a smuggler might purchase a large quantity of cigarette
A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...
s in a place with low taxes and smuggle them into a place with higher taxes, where they can be sold at a far higher margin than would otherwise be possible. It has been reported that smuggling one truckload of cigarettes within the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
can lead to a profit of US$2 million.
People smugglingWith regard to people smuggling
People smuggling is defined as "the facilitation, transportation, attempted transportation or illegal entry of a person or persons across an international border, in violation of one or more countries laws, either clandestinely or through deception, such as the use of fraudulent documents"...
, a distinction can be made between people smuggling as a service to those wanting to illegally migrate, and the involuntary trafficking of people
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...
. An estimated 90% of people who illegally crossed the border between Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...
and the United States are believed to have paid a smuggler to lead them across the border.
People smuggling can also be used to rescue a person from oppressive circumstances. For example, when the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...
, many slaves moved north via the Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...
. Similarly, during The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...
, Jewish peoples were smuggled out of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
by people such as Algoth Niska
Algoth Niska was a Finnish bootlegger and adventurer. He was born in Viipuri on 5 December 1888 and was the youngest child. When his father died in 1903, the family moved to Helsinki, where he got interested in football...
Human traffickingTrafficking in human beings, sometimes called human trafficking
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, or a modern-day form of slavery...
, or in the much referred to case of sexual services, sex trafficking - is not the same as people smuggling. A smuggler will facilitate illegal entry into a country for a fee, but on arrival at their destination, the smuggled person is free; the trafficking victim is coerced in some way. Victims do not agree to be trafficked: they are tricked, lured by false promises, or forced into it. Traffickers use coercive tactics including deception
Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, bad faith, and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth . Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment...
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...
Intimidation is intentional behavior "which would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities" fear of injury or harm. It's not necessary to prove that the behavior was so violent as to cause terror or that the victim was actually frightened.Criminal threatening is the crime of intentionally or...
Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people. It may stem from bad relationships, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, neurological disorders or circumstances of employment or situation .Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one...
, physical threats and use of force, debt bondage
Debt bondage is when a person pledges him or herself against a loan. In debt bondage, the services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services' duration may be undefined...
or even force-feeding drugs to control their victims.
While the majority of victims are women, and sometimes children, other victims include men, women and children forced or conned into manual or cheap labor. Due to the illegal nature of trafficking, the exact extent is unknown. A US Government report published in 2003, estimates that 800,000-900,000 people worldwide are trafficked across borders each year. This figure does not include those who are trafficked internally.
Child traffickingAccording to a study by Alternatives to Combat Child Labour Through Education and Sustainable Services in the Middle East and North Africa Region (ACCESS-MENA) 30% of school children living in border villages of Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....
had been smuggled into Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...
. Smuggled children were in danger of being sexually abused
Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is the forcing of undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. When that force is immediate, of short duration, or infrequent, it is called sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser or molester...
or even killed. Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...
is one of the reasons behind child trafficking and some children are smuggled with their parents' consent. As many as 50% of those smuggled are children. In the Philippines, between 60,000 to 100,000 children are trafficked to work in the sex industry.
Human trafficking and migrationEach year, hundreds of thousands of migrants are moved illegally by highly organized international smuggling and trafficking groups
Smuggling is a behavior that has occurred ever since there were laws or a moral code that tax or forbid access to a specific person or object. At the core of any smuggling organization is the economic relationship between supply and demand...
, often in dangerous or inhumane conditions. This phenomenon has been growing in recent years as people of low income countries
A developing country, also known as a less-developed country, is a nation with a low level of material well-being. Since no single definition of the term developing country is recognized internationally, the levels of development may vary widely within so-called developing countries...
are aspiring to enter developed countries
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...
in search of jobs. Migrant smuggling and human trafficking are two separate offences and differ in a few central respects. While "smuggling" refers to facilitating the illegal entry of a person into a State, "trafficking" includes an element of exploitation
This article discusses the term exploitation in the meaning of using something in an unjust or cruel manner.- As unjust benefit :In political economy, economics, and sociology, exploitation involves a persistent social relationship in which certain persons are being mistreated or unfairly used for...
The trafficker retains control over the migrant—through force, fraud or coercion—typically in the sex industry, through forced labour or through other practices similar to slavery. Trafficking violates the idea of basic human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...
. The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children. These victims are commodities in a multi-billion dollar global industry. Criminal organizations
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...
are choosing to traffic human beings because, unlike other commodities, people can be used repeatedly and because trafficking requires little in terms of capital investment.
Smuggling is also reaping huge financial dividends to criminal groups who charge migrants massive fees for their services. Intelligence reports have noted that drug-traffickers and other criminal organizations are switching to human cargo to obtain greater profit with less risk.
It is acknowledged that the smuggling of people is a growing global phenomenon. It is not only a transnational crime, but also an enormous violation of human rights and a contemporary form of slavery. Currently, economic instability appears to be the main reason for illegal migration movement throughout the world. Nevertheless, many of the willing migrants undertake the hazardous travel to their destination country with criminal syndicates specialized in people smuggling. These syndicates arrange everything for the migrants, but at a high price.
Very often the traveling conditions are inhumane: the migrants are overcrowded in trucks or boats and fatal accidents occur frequently. After their arrival in the destination country, their illegal status puts them at the mercy of their smugglers, which often force the migrants to work for years in the illegal labor market to pay off the debts incurred as a result of their transportation.
Wildlife smuggling or trafficking involves the illegal gathering, transportation and distribution or animals, and their derivatives. This can be done either internationally or domestically...
results from the demand for exotic species and the lucrative nature of the trade. The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) regulates the movement of endangered wildlife across political borders.
Economics of smugglingResearch on smuggling as economic phenomenon is scanty. Jagdish Bhagwati
Jagdish Natwarlal Bhagwati is an Indian-American economist and professor of economics and law at Columbia University. He is well known for his research in international trade and for his advocacy of free trade....
and Bent Hansen first forwarded a theory of smuggling in which they saw smuggling essentially as an import-substituting economic activity. Their main consideration, however, was the welfare implications of smuggling. Against common belief that the private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...
is more efficient than the public sector
The public sector, sometimes referred to as the state sector, is a part of the state that deals with either the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal.Examples of public sector activity range...
, they showed that, smuggling might not enhance social welfare though it may divert resources from government to private sector.
In contrast, Faizul Latif Chowdhury
Faizul Latif Chowdhury
Faizul Latif Chowdhury is a career civil servant from Bangladesh currently working as a diplomat. A literary figure and an economist at the same time, he works on corruption in public administration, tax policy process, economics of tax evasion and tax avoidance, smuggling, international trade...
, in 1999, suggested a production-substituting model of smuggling in which price disparity due to cost of supply is critically important as an incentive for smuggling. This price disparity is caused by domestic consumption taxes as well as import duties. Drawing attention to the case of cigarettes, Chowdhury suggested that, in Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...
, smuggling of cigarettes
Cigarette smuggling is the illicit transportation of cigarettes from an administrative division with low taxation to a division with high taxation for sale and consumption...
reduced the level of domestic production. Domestic production of cigarettes is subject to value added tax
Value added tax
A value added tax or value-added tax is a form of consumption tax. From the perspective of the buyer, it is a tax on the purchase price. From that of the seller, it is a tax only on the "value added" to a product, material or service, from an accounting point of view, by this stage of its...
(VAT) and other consumption tax
A consumption tax is a tax on spending on goods and services. The tax base of such a tax is the money spent on consumption. Consumption taxes are usually indirect, such as a sales tax or a value added tax...
. Reduction of domestic taxes enables the local producer to supply at a lower cost and bring down the price disparity that encourages smuggling.
However, Chowdhury suggested that there is a limit beyond which reducing domestic taxes on production cannot confer a competitive advantage versus smuggled cigarettes. Therefore, government needs to upscale its anti-smuggling drive so that seizures (the taking possession of person or property by legal process) can add to the cost of smuggling and thus render smuggling uncompetitive. Notably, Chowdhury modelled the relationship of the smuggler to the local producer as one of antagonistic duopoly
A true duopoly is a specific type of oligopoly where only two producers exist in one market. In reality, this definition is generally used where only two firms have dominant control over a market...
In smuggling, concealment can involve concealing the the smuggled goods, or go as far as hiding the whole transport. Avoiding border checks, such as by small ships, private airplane
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...
s, through overland smuggling routes, smuggling tunnel
Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels are smuggling tunnels that have been dug under the Egypt-Gaza Strip separation barrier which separates Egypt from the Gaza Strip. The barrier runs along the international border along the Philadelphi corridor, which is a buffer zone along the border created by the...
s and even small submersibles. This also applies for illegally passing a border oneself, for illegal immigration or illegal emigration. In many parts of the world, particularly the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...
, the smuggling vessel of choice is the go-fast boat
A go-fast boat, or cigarette boat, is a small, fast boat designed with a long narrow platform and a planing hull to enable it to reach high speeds....
Submitting to border checks
Border controls are measures used by a country to monitor or regulate its borders.The control of the flow of many people, animals and goods across a border may be controlled by government Customs services. Security is enforced by various kinds of Border Guards and Coast Guards...
with the goods or people hidden in a vehicle or between (other) merchandise, or the goods hidden in luggage, in or under clothes, inside the body (see body cavity search
Body cavity search
A body cavity search is either a visual search or a manual internal inspection of body cavities such as for prohibited material , such as illegal drugs, money, jewelry, or weapons...
, balloon swallower
A balloon swallower is an individual who crosses a border with the intent to smuggle drugs contained in his or her gastrointestinal tract or other body cavities.This term is used in American law enforcement for people crossing the United States-Mexico border...
A mule or courier is someone who smuggles something with him or her across a national border, including bringing in to and out of an international plane, especially a small amount, transported for a smuggling organization. The organizers employ mules to reduce the risk of getting caught...
), etc. Many smugglers fly on regularly scheduled airlines. A large number of suspected smugglers are caught each year by customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...
worldwide. Goods and people are also smuggled across seas hidden in container
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...
s, and overland hidden in cars, trucks, and trains. A related topic is illegally passing a border oneself as a stowaway
A stowaway is a person who secretly boards a vehicle, such as an aircraft, bus, ship, cargo truck or train, to travel without paying and without being detected....
. The high level of duty
In economics, a duty is a kind of tax, often associated with customs, a payment due to the revenue of a state, levied by force of law. It is a tax on certain items purchased abroad...
levied on alcohol and tobacco in Britain has led to large-scale smuggling from France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
to the UK through the Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel is a undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At its lowest point, it is deep...
The combination of acknowledged corruption at the border and high import tariffs led smugglers in the 1970s and ‘80s to fly electronic equipment such as stereos and televisions in cargo planes from one country to clandestine landing strips in another, thereby circumventing encounters at the frontier between countries.
For illegally passing a border oneself, another method is with a false passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....
(completely fake, or illegally changed, or the passport of a lookalike).
The existence of the Multi-Consignment Contraband (MCC) smuggling method (smuggling two or more different types of contraband such as drugs and illegal immigrants or drugs and guns at the same time) was verified following the completion of a study that found 16 documented cases of smuggglers transporting more than one type of contraband in the same shipment. MCC shipments were frequently associated with Phase II and Phase III smuggling organizations.
Legal definitionIn popular perception smuggling is synonymous as illegal trade. Even social scientists
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...
have misconstrued smuggling as illegal trade. While the two have indeed identical objectives, namely the evasion of taxes and the importation of contraband items, their demand and cost functions are altogether different requiring different analytical framework. As a result, illegal trade through customs stations
A border checkpoint is a place, generally between two countries, where travellers and/or goods are inspected. Authorization often is required to enter a country through its borders. Access-controlled borders often have a limited number of checkpoints where they can be crossed without legal...
is differently considered, and smuggling is defined as international trade
International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product...
through ‘unauthorized route’. A seaport, airport or land port which has not been authorized by the government for importation and exportation is an ‘unauthorized route’. The legal definition of these occurs in the Customs Act of the country. Notably, some definitions define any 'undeclared' trafficking of currency and precious metal as smuggling. Smuggling is a cognizable offense in which both the smuggled goods and the goods are punishable.
- Arms trafficking
- Battle of MudefordBattle of MudefordThe Battle of Mudeford was a skirmish fought between smugglers and Customs and Excise officers which occurred in 1784 on what is now a car park at Mudeford Quay, Mudeford, Christchurch, England near the entrance of Christchurch Harbour...
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ExplosivesBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ExplosivesThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice...
- Cigarette smugglingCigarette smugglingCigarette smuggling is the illicit transportation of cigarettes from an administrative division with low taxation to a division with high taxation for sale and consumption...
- Rum-runningRum-runningRum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...
- Snakehead (gang)Snakehead (gang)Snakeheads are Chinese gangs that smuggle people to other countries. They are found in the Fujian region of China and smuggle their customers into wealthier Western countries such as those in Western Europe, North America, Australia, and some nearby wealthier countries such as Taiwan and...
- The Yogurt ConnectionThe Yogurt ConnectionThe Yogurt Connection was a drug smuggling ring which operated out of Indianapolis, Indiana, United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Prosecutors estimated that the gang ran an estimated 250,000 pounds of Colombian, Jamaican and Thai marijuana. Distribution reached into eleven Midwestern U.S...
- U.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementU.S. Immigration and Customs EnforcementU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security , responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security...
- Graham, Frank, Smuggling in Cornwall (Newcastle upon Tyne, V. Graham, 1964).
- Graham, Frank, Smuggling in Devon (Newcastle upon Tyne, Frank Graham, 1968).
- Harper, Charles G., Smugglers: Picturesque chapters in the Story of an Ancient Craft (Newcastle upon Tyne, Frank Graham, 1966)
- E. T. Jones, 'Illicit business: accounting for smuggling in mid-sixteenth century Bristol', Economic History Review, 54 (2001). Winner of the Economic History Society's "T.S. Ashton Prize" in 2001.
- Karras, Alan. Smuggling: Contraband and Corruption in World History (Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield, 2010) 199 pp.
- Morley, Geoffrey, Smuggling in Hampshire & Dorset 1700-1850 (Newbury: Countryside Books, 1983). ISBN 0905392248
- Rattenbury, John, Memoirs of a Smuggler (Newcastle upon Tyne, V. Graham, 1964).
- Smith, Joshua M., Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783–1820 (Gainesville, University Press of Florida, 2006). ISBN 0813029864.
- Waugh, Mary, Smuggling in Kent and Sussex 1700–1840 (Countryside Books, 1985, updated 2003). ISBN 0905392485.
- Smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain
- Smuggled Goods and Products information
- King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855, by E. Keble Chatterton, from Project GutenbergProject GutenbergProject Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...
- "Organized Crime." Oxford Bibliographies Online: Criminology.
Organizations working against Trafficking:
- Ansar Burney Trust - working in the Middle East