Smuggling is the illegal transportation of goods or persons, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicablelaws or other regulations.
There are various motivations to smuggle. These include the participation in illegal trade, such as in the drug trade, in illegal immigration or illegal emigration, 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.
Smuggling in literature is a common theme, from Bizet’s Carmen to the James Bondbooks (and later films) Diamonds are Forever and Goldfinger.
From Low German schmuggeln or Dutch smokkelen (=”to transport (goods) illegally”), apparently a frequentative formation of a word meaning “to sneak” most likely entered the English Language during the 1600 – 1700s
Smuggling has a long and controversial history, probably dating back to the first time at which duties were imposed in any form, or any attempt was made to prohibit a form of traffic.
In England smuggling first became a recognised problem in the 13th century, following the creation of a national customs collection system by Edward I in 1275. Medieval smuggling tended to focus on the export of highly taxed export goods — notably wool and hides. Merchants also, however, sometimes smuggled other goods to circumvent prohibitions or embargoes on particular trades.