Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) claims that criminal gangs are operating at least one, if not a number of, illegal tobacco factories in Ireland.
The claim from RAS, which represents nearly 3000 independent retailers across Ireland, follows the seizure of almost 15 tonnes of tobacco at Dublin Port yesterday.
The retail group says that the volume of the tobacco found points to there being illegal factories operating in Ireland, and that the seized product was destined for these black-market facilities.
RAS spokesperson, Benny Gilsenan commented, “We are in no doubt that the size of this seizure and the nature of the product that was seized shows that there are a number of illegal factories in operation in Ireland. This vast amount of illegal product was destined for a number of plants operated by criminal gangs.”
The Dublin Port seizure comes after last month’s discovery of an illegal tobacco factory and a 12 million tonnes of raw, unprocessed tobacco in the Northern Ireland in operations by police on both sides of the border.
Gilsenan accused criminal gangs of still operating at least one illegal tobacco factory in Ireland, posing a threatening to deprive legitimate shops of business and the State of revenue.
“It is vital that the Government treats this issue seriously and sets up a special taskforce to deal with the black market. We retailers have been calling for this for years, but our politicians have been asleep at the wheel and now we are all paying the price,” Gilsenan stated.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.