Smoke Screen. Love, bribes and spies in the tobacco industry.
Victoria Hollingsworth tells the true story of British American Tobacco’s clandestine operations in Southern Africa. We hear from the people caught in a web of corrupt practices as we sink into the dirty world of the tobacco industry.
BAT say their actions were simply to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products. The UK Serious Fraud Office investigated, but found there was insufficient evidence for any prosecutions.
A partnership between The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Auddy.
Episode 1 - Room 205
It’s 2013. We meet an attorney called Belinda Walter, who’s being recruited by BAT in London to spy on small tobacco manufacturers in South Africa. How is it that an upstanding citizen can get wrapped up in espionage?
We meet Malcolm, a young journalist who Belinda chooses to confide in. Can Malcolm uncover one of the biggest scandals the South African tobacco industry has ever seen?
Over the next 8 weeks, we will be exploring allegations that British American Tobacco employed a vast network of spies and helped damage their rivals. One of the informants- Belinda Walter nearly brought the whole operation crashing down before she disappeared from the scene.
A Novel Production for The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Auddy.