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Illicit Tobacco Trade Could Be Costing The Economy As Much as €697 Million, Report Finds

A study by Grant Thornton has found that the illicit tobacco trade is costing the Irish economy between €294 million and €697 million, with the loss to the Exchequer between €240 million and €575 million.

The report, 'Illicit Trade: an Irish and Global Challenge', launched today, places both a low estimate value and high estimate value on the cost of the illicit trade to the economy. It found that a 'limited government response and continued weak penalties for violations of the law' mean that overall high estimate losses are valued at €1.53 billion, 3% higher than last year.

The illicit tobacco trade costs the economy anywhere between €294 million (low estimate) and €697 million (high estimate) per year.

The report argues that while 'the 2010 Criminal Justice Act has improved the regulatory environment, money laundering activity remains a threat to Ireland’s reputation as a financial centre and is benefiting criminal gangs'.

“Our research estimates that illicit trade in fuel and tobacco alone is as much as €337m, with much of this going into criminals’ pockets," said report author and Grant Thornton partner Brendan Foster.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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