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Combating Smuggling. Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


Exercise 1. Before reading the text, answer these questions:

a) Do you know what smuggling is?

b) What can you say about motivations to smuggle?

Exercise 2. Read the text to check your answers.


With the ever growing population and advancement in development, the demand for goods and services worldwide has incredibly increased. Sadly, as the legal trade increases, illicit trade, particularly smuggling, has also followed suit. Smuggling is the supply, distribution and sale of products on which applicable taxes in the country of consumption are not paid.

Not only does smuggling lead to revenue losses to a country, affecting provision of public services, but also causes unfair competition in the market. This is because smuggled goods are sold cheaply compared to those for which taxes have been paid.

There are various motivations to smuggle. These include the participation in illicit trade, such as in the drug trade, in illegal immigration, tax evasion, providing contraband to a prison inmate, or the theft of the items being smuggled. Examples of non-financial motivations include bringing banned items past a security checkpoint (such as airline security) or the removal of classified documents from a government or corporate office.

Much smuggling occurs when enterprising merchants attempt to supply demand for a good or service that is illegal or heavily taxed. As a result, illegal drug trafficking, and the smuggling of weapons (illegal arms trade), as well as the historical staples of smuggling, alcohol and tobacco, are widespread.

As the smuggler faces significant risk of civil and criminal penalties if caught with contraband, smugglers are able to impose a significant price premium on smuggled goods. The profits involved in smuggling goods appear to be extensive. Profits also derive from avoiding taxes or levies on imported goods. For example, a smuggler might purchase a large quantity of cigarettes in a place with low taxes and smuggle them into a place with higher taxes, where they can be sold at a far higher margin than would otherwise be possible.

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Exercise 3. Answer the following questions.

1. According to the text, what word defines illicit trade?

2. Why does smuggling cause unfair competition?

3. What do motivations to smuggle include?

4. What are the historical staples of smuggling?

5. How do smugglers make their profit?

Exercise 4. Reproduce the sentences in which the following words and phrases are used: the demand for goods and services; applicable taxes; revenue losses; providing contraband to a prison inmate; banned items; enterprising merchants; historical staples of smuggling; the risk of civil and criminal penalties; avoiding taxes or levies.

Exercise 5.Read the following paragraphs and find out the meanings, synonyms, and related words for “illicit” and “illegal” in a dictionary. Write down some dictionary examples with these words to illustrate their use (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary).


1) Illicit cigarettes enter or are sold in a market in violation of fiscal laws, custom laws, and other regulations, e.g., without payment of import duties, excise tax, or VAT, and in noncompliance with regulatory measures. Illicit cigarettes can be genuine products manufactured by, or under the authority of, a trademark owner and sold without payment of applicable taxes, or else counterfeit cigarettes, meaning fakes that have been manufactured without the permission of the trademark owner.

2) In most U.S. contexts, illegal immigration refers to the presence of 12 million undocumented Mexican-American immigrants in the United States. Lack of documentation is what makes illegal immigration illegal; Mexican workers, recruited by U.S. corporations since the 1830s, have historically been allowed by the government to cross the border to work indefinitely--initially on railroads, later on farms--without interference.

Exercise 6.Can you guess the meaning of the phrasal verbs in the box? Fill the correct particles into the spaces. Consult with the box.

to be after to be against to be in for to be off to be on to be out of to be over to be up to break down to break in to break out to break up

1. War broke __________ suddenly in the country.

2. My flat was broken _________ while I was away.

3. The police are ________ the bank robbers.

4. The washing machine has broken __________ I'll call a repairman.

5. Many people are ________ the new law.

6. The school will break __________ for the holidays soon.

7. What's ____________? Is something wrong?

8. The supermarket was___________ bread, so I didn't get any.

9. Jack was _____________ school last week because he had the flu.

10. 'Are you __________ yet?' called Mum early this morning.

11. When she heard the bad news she broke __________ and cried.

12. After three weeks, the exams are finally _______________.

13. Several prisoners broke ___________ of prison early this morning.

14. I was __________ all night because of my bad cough.

15. Government negotiations broke _________ last week.

16. James is __________ a new bicycle for his birthday.

17. Look at the clouds. I think we're ____________ bad weather today.

18. I used to love pizza, but I'm ________ it now.

19. The couple broke _________ for a while, but then got back together.

20. There is a new play ________ at the Empire theatre.

21. The secretary broke ________ on the meeting to bring us coffee.

Exercise 7.For each space in each sentence, use the verb to break in the correct tense with one of the following prepositions in, up, into, down, out.

1. When he saw the police behind him, he _________ a run.

2. Bring your mobile phone just in case the car ___________ on the motorway.

3. War has __________ in the small African country of Gabon. All Europeans are advised to leave immediately.

4. If the expenses and income of a company are equal, the company __________. If it earns more money, it has made a profit.

5. Someone is ___________! I heard a window smashing. Call the police!

6. When Prince Charles __________ with Princess Diana, nobody imagined he would marry again.

7. A general election was called after negotiations between the government and the opposition ___________.

8. After the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was ___________.

9. In "Jurassic Park", there is panic and chaos when the carnivorous dinosaurs ____________ of their enclosures.

10. Go slowly in that new car for a few days. You need to ______________ the engine.

Exercise 8. You are going to read the text about Customs’ role in combating drug smuggling. What anti-smuggling measures taken by Customs do you know?



Drug smuggling is an international problem - the misuse of drugs is one of the great social ills of our time that affects individuals, families and whole communities. A critical element of tackling the problem is reducing supply, and the Customs Service is tasked with the responsibility for the prevention, detection and seizure of controlled drugs at importation.

To deter smuggling, the governments impose measures, such as pre-shipment inspection, accreditation of importers, access to cargo manifests, boarding protocols, color coding for cargo classification, and post-border cargo inspection. In addition, the governments maintain anti-smuggling task groups that monitor, examine, seize, and prosecute smuggling cases.

As a leader in narcotics investigations and enforcement in the U.S., Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) participates in key task forces around the country. ICE is committed to strong investigative partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement.

ICE applies its investigative expertise in money laundering and bulk cash smuggling in the fight against drug trafficking. Knowing where criminals are consolidating cash and how they are transporting it, helps arm law enforcement with critical information needed to halt drug traffickers in their tracks.

ICE investigates narcotics smuggling organizations and the methods utilized to smuggle contraband across U.S. borders. Smuggling methods include the use of high-speed vessels, cargo containers, aircraft, commercial trucking, commercial vessel and human carriers.

ICE agents have extensive knowledge of the border environment and techniques employed by smugglers to transport contraband into the country. This expertise has been gained through years of experience in conducting undercover operations, utilizing confidential informants, special enforcement operations and conducting contraband smuggling investigations.

Exercise 9. Match the following words from Part II with the appropriate definition.

1. to affect a. the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about smth in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened
2. seizure b. the job of making sure that the law is obeyed
3. accreditation c. to change or influence smth; to case physical damage to smth.
4. to prosecute d. a relationship between two or more people, groups, or countries involved in an activity together
5. investigation e. the activity of buying and selling illegal goods, especially drugs
6.law enforcement   f. the action of taking smth or taking control of smth, especially using power or force
7. to monitor g. working or done secretly, in order to catch criminals or find out information
8. partnership h. official approval of an organization, worker, or course of study
9. trafficking i. to regularly check smth or watch someone in order to find out what is happening
10. undercover j. to officially accuse someone of a crime and ask a court of law to judge them

Exercise 10. Make a summary of Part II in 5-6 statements using key words.

Exercise 11.Do you know what other law enforcement agencies combat illegal drug trafficking? Watch some students’ presentations devoted to this matter and tell the class what you’ve learnt.

Exercise 12.Watch the video “Border Security Australia Frontline”, episode 6/8 about Drug smuggling and make your comments on it. Make a list of words necessary to talk about the episode. Compare your list with another student’s.

Exercise 13.Translate the following text twice: yourself and with the help of any computer translation system. Make sure that your translation is better than that of the computer.

Controlled delivery is a technique that leads to the detection and arrest of drug trafficking organizers and the breakup of smuggling operations, bringing about some degree of slowdown in smuggling activity. After a drug shipment is discovered, the shipment is allowed to proceed to its destination under control and surveillance. In some cases, the drugs are kept in the shipment; in others, most of the drug is removed and some other material substituted with enough of the drug left as is required for legal prosecution purposes.

Controlled deliveries usually involve drugs sent either in cargo shipments or in the mail where there is not a person present (courier) who has the responsibility for the drugs and would know of delays caused by their detection. The time flexibility that is provided by cargo and mail also allows the necessary arrangements for a controlled delivery to be made.

In some countries, controlled deliveries can be conducted solely under the auspices of the Customs service, while in others, Customs is required to work with the Police, either the federal or national Police agency or local authorities. These situations also may require close co-operation with other government agencies such as the judiciary or the postal service and/or with persons involved in the transportation/trading business such as shipping company staff or Customs brokers.

Exercise 14.Reproduce the sentences in which the following words and phrases are used: the breakup of smuggling operations; under control and surveillance; for legal prosecution purposes; the necessary arrangements; under the auspices of the Customs service; close co-operation with other government agencies.


Exercise 15.Here are somedifferent meanings of phrasal verbs 'to work out', 'to check out', and 'to go through' given in the box. Choose the meanings they are used in in the following sentences consulting a dictionary. Think of your examples with these verbs.

to understand someone to leave a hotel to explain something to investigate to end successfully to do physical exercise to experience bad things to walk across the place to have a look to calculate money to find a solution

1. Things have worked out well. (to work out = to end successfully).

2. We worked out the problem.

3. She worked out in the gym.

4. I've never been able to work him out.

5. The final price works out at $186.15.

6. A new shop has opened, we're going to check it out.

7. You need to check out from reception before 12pm.

8. I'm not sure I believe him. Can you check out if he was there?

9. I always go through the park on my way to work.

10. He's gone through a lot this year since his wife died.

11. I'll go through the plans with you tomorrow morning.

Exercise 16.Do you know what the idioms mean? For example, the expression to pass with flying colours? You can find the meaning in a dictionary. To do this exercise, work with a partner. Look at the expressions in italics and work out what they mean. Do you have similar expressions in your language?

1. The written exam was difficult, but oral exam was a piece of cake.

2. It will be easier if we work on this exercise together. Two heads are better than one.

3. Her teacher told her that if she wanted to catch up with the rest of the group and pass her exams, she would have to burn the midnight oil for several weeks.

4. I passed the exam by skin of my teeth. The pass mark was 50% and I got 51%.

5. When I went to school the teachers used to make us learn poems by heart.

6. On one occasion I learned a whole speech parrot fashion – I didn’t understand a word of it.


Exercise 17. Now discuss the following questions:

1. What exams have you passed by skin of your teeth or with flying colours?

2. How useful is it to learn things parrot fashion?

3. What things did you learn by heart at school? Can you still remember them?

4. What are the arguments for and against learning things by heart?

5. What do you think is a good way to learn phrasal verbs and idiomatic expressions?


Exercise 18.Read the following passages and spend two or three minutes revising what you have learnt. Close your book and tell your partner using the words in bold.

Smuggling can be simply defined as evading the payment of customs dues for dutiable commercial goods illegally imported into the country. On this background, anti-smuggling can be defined as measures put in place to effectively counter or drastically minimize smuggling activities. There are three main categories of commodities that are commonly smuggled:

Commercial goods: These are items when smuggled into a country can be sold on the open market for economic gain e.g. foodstuffs, clothes and textiles, electronic goods etc.

Restricted goods: Goods in this category need special permission, clearance certificates or licenses from ministries or regulatory bodies before they can be imported or exported out of a country. The core function of this category is to protect the domestic business industry e.g. cigarettes, diamonds (export), medicaments etc.

Prohibited goods: Goods in this category are banned or prohibited from being imported in or exported out of a country. The core function of this category is to protect the local populace from potentially dangerous and harmful goods. e.g. narcotics , arms and ammunition etc.

Exercise 19. Watch some students’ presentations devoted to various methods of drug concealment and tell the class what you’ve learnt.

Exercise 20.Visit the news section of the official site ofthe Federal Customs Service: http://www.customs.ru/. Tell the class about some smuggling case.

Exercise 21. Write a short description of a smuggling crime that has been in the news recently.

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