Smoke Screen: Love, bribes and spies in the tobacco industry.
Victoria Hollingsworth tells the true story of corrupt practices behind the scenes at British American Tobacco. We hear from the very people who were caught up in this world as we sink deep into the dirty underbelly of the tobacco industry in South Africa.
BAT says its actions were simply to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office investigated matters and found there was insufficient evidence for any prosecution.
Our investigation tries to find the truth behind the lies.
A partnership between the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Auddy.
Smoke Screen – Episode 1
They say a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Our investigation starts in 2013, and we meet an attorney called Belinda Walter who is recruited by BAT in London to spy on the tobacco smugglers within South Africa. How is it that an upstanding citizen can get wrapped up in this world? Can a young journalist uncover one of the biggest scandals the South African tobacco industry has seen in decades?
Over the next 8 weeks, we will be exploring allegations that British American Tobacco used a network of spiesto help damage its rivals. One of these, Belinda Walter, nearly brought the whole operation crashing down.
BAT denies any wrong doing.
A Novel production for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Auddy.
Transcript goes here