Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS), which represents 3,000 independent retailers, has said not enough is being done about tobacco smuggling, following the release of the Revenue Commissioners' annual report last week.
According to the report, Ireland was home to the biggest seizure of illegal cigarettes in 2014, with 32 million illegal cigarettes seized in Drogheda Port last June.
Spokesperson and central Dublin retailer, Benny Gilsenan welcomed Revenue’s work in the area of illegal fuel, but raised concerns about the ongoing problem of tobacco smuggling and its impact on independent stores.
“Many of our members who own forecourts will welcome the measures to tackle fuel fraud, but the cigarette smuggling problem hasn’t gone away. The very fact that Ireland was home to the biggest seizure in Europe last year shows the scale of this issue,” he said.
Gilsenan also added that the discovery of an illicit tobacco factory at the Northern Irish border earlier this year shows that criminals are moving into production along with smuggling.
“Make no mistake about it, there’s more than one illegal factory operating in this country and not enough is being done to deal with this problem,” he explained.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.