The prime location for illegal cigarette seizures in the EU is in Ireland, according to the recent quarterly infographic released by the Stop Smuggling campaign. This June, a seizure in Drogheda Port yielded 32 million illegal cigarettes, worth €14 million to the exchequer.
The campaign notes that the State lost a total of €212 million from illegal tobacco last year. The Stop Smuggling campaign is a joint initiative between Topaz, Applegreen and Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS).
The campaign also released figures that highlighted the problem of fuel smuggling, showing that the Revenue seized over three-quarters of a million litres of illegal fuel last year. The figures also pointed out the capacity of a plant closed down in Armagh last year to produce 16 million litres of illegal fuel annually.
Director of Applegreen, Joe Barrett commented, “These facts and figures are a sobering reminder about the extent and scale of the black market in Ireland. We are calling on the public not to buy from the black market and to get in contact with the Revenue if they see any suspicious activity.”
However, Stop Smuggling’s statistics also show that the Revenue has made progress in its crack down on the black market. In September, the Revenue seized 5 million illegal cigarettes in Rosslare, as well as closing down 39 filling stations and laundering plants for illegal fuel offences last year.
Paul Candon, Marketing Director of Topaz, said: “The good news from these figures is that there has been a lot of progress made against the black market and we would like to commend the Revenue for their hard work.
“However, the criminals have not gone away. One of the issues of concern is petrol stretching, whereby legitimate fuel is mixed with another liquid. We would like to remind the public that if a deal seems to be too good, that’s because it is.”
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Emily Horne.