Illegal Tobacco More Valuable Than Silver

Cost is driving more thefts than ever

Illegal Tobacco More Valuable Than Silver

The high cost of cigarettes looks to be having an unwanted consequence, by driving up it's black market value and increasing theft.

High taxes have been applied to smokes to help reduce the number of people puffing away, but it's not all good news.

In Victoria alone, in a 10-week period this year, tobacco was targeted by thieves some 137 times.

There's suggestions crims are now seeing ciggies as more valuable than silver, with 1kg of tobacco worth roughly $50 more than 1kg of silver.

A crazy $300,000 of tobacco was recently nicked from a tobacconist in Melbourne's suburbs.

Melbourne tobacconist Rod Allen’s shop was hit three times in 2016.

“With the price of cigarettes, it is attractive to thieves, and we are a soft target," Mr Allen told News Corp.

“I understand why the government taxes cigarettes so much, but this is a side-effect and people like me are left with the bill.”