Roland Kostantos

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In April 2017 Roland Kostantos was appointed Chief Operating Officer at Japan Tobacco International (JTI).1

Career with Japan Tobacco International

Kostantos joined RJ Reynolds-Macdonald (which was acquired by Japan Tobacco in 1999) in 1987 as a Finance Supervisor.2
He has held several senior roles within JTI, including:34

  • Senior Vice President for Finance and Information Technology and Chief Financial Officer (2009 – 2017)
  • Vice President Finance, Corporate Controller (2006 – 2009)
  • Chief Financial Officer for the Europe Region (appointed in 2002)
  • Vice President Financial Planning and Analysis in Geneva (appointed in 1998)
  • Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer (appointed in 1996)

Charged but Acquitted for Facilitating Smuggling

In the 1990s, tobacco companies facilitated the smuggling of their own cigarettes, which was an integral part of their business strategies.

In 2003 eight tobacco executives, including Kostantos who worked for JTI in Geneva, and four companies (JTI-Macdonald, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco USA, R.J. Reynolds International USA, and Northern Brands International USA) were accused in the Toronto Court of defrauding the Canadian provincial governments of Ontario and Quebec of $1.2 billion in tax revenue.56
The court case was the outcome of four and a half years of investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who charged the defendants of facilitating smuggling contraband tobacco products from the USA into Canada between 1991 and 1996.7 The case was also dropped against the tobacco manufacturers and the other executives.8
In 2010 the Canadian Revenue Agency issued a press release stating that ‘’the federal, provincial and territorial governments entered into civil settlement agreements with tobacco manufacturers JTI-Macdonald Corp and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to resolve potential civil claims related to the movement of contraband tobacco in the early 1990s.’’9

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

JTI website

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  1. Japan Tobacco International, Our Leadership, JTI website, undated, accessed October 2018
  2. Bloomberg, Roland Kostantos, undated, accessed January 2019
  3. Japan Tobacco International, Our Company, JTI website, undated, accessed 20 February 2012
  4. Japan Tobacco International, Management, JTI website, 25 November 2009, accessed February 2019
  5. P. Cheney, V. Malarek, Top tobacco executives charged with sending cigarettes to smugglers, The Globe and Mail, 1 March 2003, updated 17 April 2018, accessed January 2019
  6. The Lung Association of Saskatchewan , RCMP lays criminal charges against Canadian tobacco company, 10 July 2008, accessed February 2019
  7. Several charges were laid: six counts of Fraud and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and to Possess Proceeds of Crime.
    Kostantos was acquitted in 2007 because there was insufficient evidence of guilt.10 Tobacco Litigation: Criminal Investigations and Charges, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, undated, accessed October 2018
  8. Smoking and Health Action Foundation, Non-Smokers’ Rights Association, Tobacco-Related Litigation in Canada, March 2017, accessed February 2019
  9. Government of Canada, Comprehensive settlement agreements with tobacco companies, 15 February 2016, accessed February 2019