Retailers concerned about ‘exceptionally active’ black market in tobacco smuggling

Retailers concerned about ‘exceptionally active’ black market in tobacco smuggling

Retailers Against Smuggling voice concerns – Praise haul at Dublin Port

Retailers in Ireland have raised concerns about the fourth major seizure of illegal cigarettes in the past three weeks, saying it points to an “exceptionally active” black market in the sale of tobacco products.

Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS), a representative body of more than 3,000 small and medium-sized businesses, welcomed the seizure in early August by Revenue of 7.2m cigarettes at Dublin Port worth an estimated retail value of more than €5m representing a potential loss to the exchequer of €3.9m.

€5m haul ‘indicates the scale of smuggling’

“This, the fourth major seizure in recent weeks is yet another first-hand indicator of an exceptionally active black market and the scale of tobacco smuggling in Ireland,” RAS said in a statement.

The illegal cigarettes branded ‘Richmond’ were discovered, with the assistance of Revenue’s mobile X-ray scanner, in a container that had arrived into Dublin Port on a vessel from Rotterdam.

Revenue said the seizure is part of Revenue’s ongoing operations targeting the shadow economy and the supply and sale of illegal tobacco products, and said businesses or members of the public who have information regarding smuggling should contact them in confidence.

Fight against smuggling

“RAS commends the ongoing work by Revenue officials in the fight against smuggling, particularly at our major points of entry through ports and airports,” the retailers’ group said in a statement.

“However, the issue of tobacco smuggling remains a huge threat for registered and legitimate tobacco retailers whose legal cigarette trade can account for 20% to 30% of their business.

Revenue made four major seizures of cigarettes in three weeks with the help of mobile X-ray scanner