The seizure of over four million illegal cigarettes on the M1 motorway yesterday (November 4th) shows that Ireland is still a key destination for international crime gangs, claims Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS).
According to RAS, which represents nearly 3,000 independent retailers, the cigarettes had been smuggled from Bangladesh, via Singapore,
“This is proof that Ireland is one of the key destinations for international crime gangs,” said RAS spokesperson Benny Gilsenan.
“It is no surprise that they continue to target the Irish market because we hand out paltry fines for smugglers.”
He added that the Government also has to take some of the blame for letting this situation develop.
“The Government has continued to increase taxes on legal cigarettes, while turning a blind eye to the growing black market,” he explained.
According to Gilsenan, retailers were shocked to see that the Government put up the prices of cigarettes in the last budget, only for many TDs to later address the Dáil to raise concerns about smuggling.
“It seems like they are living in a fantasy land,” he commented.
RAS is calling for the introduction of a reserves force to assist the Revenue and the use of attachment orders to ensure that convicted offenders pay their fines.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.