Last year the author of an EU bill which would effectively ban electronic cigarettes was forced to resign after allegedly seeking bribes from a tobacco company.
The same person, former EU commissioner John Dalli, has now been accused of trying to move one hundred million dollars to the Bahama.
Dalli has argued that the money was not for him, and that he was transferring the money to help some friends who in turn wanted to help a charity in Africa. (See Dalli transferred millions in secret trip to the Bahamas.)
It has also been alleged that at the time Dalli moved the money, he lied to the EU, saying he was visiting his family in Malta to hide the visit to the Bahamas.
According to the Maltese police, Dalli also told lies to EU corruption investigators about his awareness of a corruption probe.
Need for Investigation
Over the years, I’ve seen a fair amount of evidence which suggests that anti-ecig movement could at least in part be financially motivated:
- a payment to a Senator in the US who have spoken out against ecigs
- million dollar payments to the anti-smoking organisations who are campaigning against ecigs
- politicians who have expressed dismay at the loss of tobacco tax revenue
- payments to MHRA (now calling for medicilisation of ecigs) staff from pharmaceutical companies
Dalli has argued that the government has no right to investigate his affairs.
I’d disagree with that. While Dalli has a right to the presumption of innocence, a public servant whose bill could affect the lives of millions of smokers and who secretly looked into moving one hundred million dollars has relinquished any right to privacy.
And further than that, all links between moves to ban safer alternatives to smoking like Snus and E-Cigarettes (many scientists believe these are between 100 and 1000 times safer than smoking cigarettes) need to be investigated.
At the end of the day, we need to be sure that decisions are made for our benefit, and not for cash!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
Tobacco Control Industry: More Info
Handily, over on ECig Politics, Chris Price has just been writing about the commercialisation of the Tobacco Control Industry. Check it out here!
Update: Dick Puddlecote has also written about the same topic here, and indeed may have had a hand in breaking the story!