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Retailers warned of top-up scans; Revenue subjecting stores to severe audits



14 August 2009

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Retailers are warned to be extra vigilent of scams. Two currently doing the rounds: a customer receives a top-up, hands over the incorrect amount, then says they haven’t enough money and hands back the top-up, after photographing the code; a customer asks for an expensive Payzone product, such as a high value world wide voucher, stands with the money in their hands but then reaches over, tears off the voucher and runs. Retailers are urged to alert the CSNA of any other known scams.

It is reported that Revenue is taking a hard line with retail businesses at the moment. Many are being subjected to severe audits, with Revenue officials “taking over the back offices of stores for two and three days at a time,” a source said. The tax authority is also imposing hefty fines across the sector for late and underpaid revenues including VAT and PAYE.

Two Latvian nationals were arrested at Dublin Airport last month for smuggling almost 16,500 cigarettes into the country. The ‘L&M’ brand of cigarettes in the hoard were valued at approximately €6,523, amounting to a potential loss of €5,358 to Revenue. There were four arrests that week for cigarette smuggling.

In a separate operation officers from Revenue’s Customs Service seized 8.25 million contraband ‘Regal’ cigarettes with a retail value of approximately €3.5 million. The cigarettes were discovered in a container which had arrived at Dublin Port from China. Customs has seized approx €22 million worth of cigarettes this year.

A Dublin store was reportedly fined €200,000 by Customs for selling contraband vodka. It had already been issued an on the spot fine of €5,000 and had stock seized on a previous occasion. The retailer in question may still be formally prosecuted.



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