Smuggling is one of the world’s oldest professions. The dynamics and rationale remain much the same whether the smuggled goods are wine and spirits, drugs, tobacco, salt, ivory, jewels, guns, or human beings. The importation of prohibited or costly food and drink thus fits a well-established template of supply and demand. This entry focuses primarily on food smuggling, showing that where there is a need to obtain the unobtainable, where there is motivation to undercut the overpriced or circumvent trade embargoes, so will there be vendors and purchasers, whatever the personal risk or cost to the wider community.

Free Trade Versus Regulation

The business of smuggling has sometimes been described as the very essence of free trade, a place where commerce operates purely according to market ...

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