Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) has today (31.08.22) welcomed the Revenue seizure of illicit tobacco and cigarettes with an estimated retail value of €5.5 million at Dublin Port. The seizure included 4.5 million cigarettes and 3 tonnes of ‘roll your own’ tobacco destined for an address in Co. Meath and onward distribution onto the black market.
Commenting RAS national spokesperson Benny Gilsenan said: “The ongoing seizure of large consignments of illicit tobacco is a first-hand indicator of just how much demand for the black-market is growing. This is understandably driven by the souring cost of living which is forcing consumers to look at all options in terms of how they spend hard-earned income. With continuous year-on-year excise increases placed on tobacco products, it has reached a point where many smokers are forced to turn towards the black market where they know they can make significant savings.
“The organised crime gangs behind this smuggling activity have recognised this growth in demand for illicit tobacco products as an open goal to fund other streams of criminal activity. With the placement of yet another excise increase on tobacco products expected in next months budget, the gap between the cost of a legal packet of cigarettes and what’s available on the black market is only set to widen. The knock-on consequence being significant loss of revenue to both the Exchequer and legitimate retailers, while major criminals continue to line their pockets.”