Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) welcome the seizure of 1.5 million illicit cigarettes at a premises in Co. Meath. The seizure had an estimated retail value of €1.1 million, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of approximately €919,000.
This latest announcement by Revenue validates retailer concerns of a highly functioning black market which legitimate Irish retailers are forced to compete with. Commenting, national spokesperson for RAS and Dublin based retailer, Benny Gilsenan said, “This seizure of illicit cigarettes indicates that the market is alive and well. As retailers across the country are struggling to adapt to the rising cost of doing business, seizures like this tell us that it is very much business as usual for the organised crime gangs behind smuggled tobacco products.”
RAS commends the ongoing work by Revenue officials in the fight against smuggling. However, the issue of tobacco smuggling remains a huge threat for registered and legitimate tobacco retailers whose legal cigarette trade can account for 20 – 30 per cent of their business.