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How Iraq’s cigarette smugglers built an empire

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KEY POINTS: Nizar Hanna Nasri’s facilities have fed billions of cigarettes into black markets from Cameroon to Moldova. OCCRP identified four counterfeit cigarette factories in Iraq linked to Nasri. Nasri’s brands are sold on illicit markets in EuropeNasri’s partners have included Iraqi Kurdistan’s ruling Barzani family, former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, and Saddam Hussein’s son. The tycoon’s real estate interests are intertwined with the Barzani family. For most Iraqis, the sanctions of the 1990s were a nightmare. But for Nizar Hanna Nasri, they were an opportunity. With most basic commo…

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