Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) has reiterated its warning that international criminal gangs are targeting Ireland, following the release of Revenue’s defaulters’ list for the first three months of 2015.
The list reveals that every single person convicted of cigarette smuggling in that period was a foreign national, while half of those convicted for any kind of smuggles gave addresses outside the State.
“This clearly shows that international crime gangs have their sights set on Ireland and see it as an easy target for smuggling. The fact that many of the people convicted gave addresses outside of Ireland shows that they are coming here specifically to smuggle goods,” commented RAS spokesman Benny Gilsenan.
The Revenue figures show that the average fine on conviction for smugglers was €2,700, a number RAS believes is not sufficient to act as a deterrent.
“We’re talking about criminal operations that make tens of millions very year from smuggling and criminal activity – handing down fines of a few thousand euro won’t make a blind bit of difference to them. It just sends out the signal that Ireland is a great place to do business if you are a smuggler,” Gilsenan, who runs a store in central Dublin, added.
RAS has also expressed concern over a number of shop-owners convicted for illegal selling, stating that those “rogue operators” were in no way connected with the RAS or its members, which are all legitimate businesses.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.