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A tobacco tycoon thrived in war-torn Iraq

Published by
Al-Araby

KEY POINTS: Tabra’s career started in the 1990s with help from Saddam Hussein’s eldest son.For years, he supplied the knock-off cigarette factories with cheap tobacco, fake packaging, counterfeit tax stamps, and other materials. To do so, he ran a network of offshore companies and other fronts, many protected by high-level officials. Tabra has partnered with known smugglers and fraudsters in multiple countries. The charges levied against Iraqi cigarette baron Waheb Tabra read like an action movie script: Cutting deals with the Islamic State, brawling with Iraq’s speaker of parliament, and smug…

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