15 March 2018
11 people have been arrested after an illegal cigarette production factory was discovered by Gardaí and Revenue in Louth today. 25 million illegal cigarettes were discovered, along with over 40 tonnes of tobacco, as well as production and packaging equipment estimated to have cost the Exchequer €12 million.
Retailers Against Smuggling’s (RAS) Leinster spokesperson Benny Gilsenan commented on the breaking reports today “The uncovering of the illegal cigarette factory run by criminals highlights the growing market in Ireland for cheap illicit tobacco products all the while successive Governments increase the price of legal cigarettes that legitimate and tax paying retailers like myself sell. It is also striking that this illegal factory producing branded packs at a time when retailers are receiving plain packs legitimate retailers
It is time for the Government stop increasing excise and focus on the issue and give consideration to the impact the illicit trade is having on small retailers who are already struggling to maintain business and keep on current employees. RAS would like to thank an Garda Síochána and Revenue for all their hard work but unfortunately while our Government continues to ignore the grave concerns of the declining small retailer, there will only be more illegal cigarette and alcohol factories found across the State”.