Retailers Against Smuggling welcome seizure of 4.3m cigarettes at Rosslare Europort

16.5% of all cigarettes consumed in 2015 were illiegal

Seizure with an estimated retail value of €3.2m, represented a potential loss to the Exchequer of more than €2.5m

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1 February 2022 | 0

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Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) has welcomed the news from Revenue that 4.3 million cigarettes were seized at Rosslare Europort over the weekend. Branded ‘Marine Blue’ and ‘Marine Green’, the seizure had an estimated retail value of €3.2m representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of more than €2.5m.

 

“This is the largest cigarette seizure by Revenue so far this year, following a record-breaking year for large-scale cigarette and tobacco smuggling in 2021,” the RAS states. “This latest seizure points to the continuation of a rapidly growing black market which Irish retailers are forced to compete with, as sophisticated criminal gangs take advantage of the tidy profits that can now be made from illicit tobacco.”

 

RAS has commended the ongoing work by Revenue officials in the fight against smuggling, particularly at our major points of entry through ports and airports. However, the association adds that the issue of tobacco smuggling remains a huge threat for registered and legitimate tobacco retailers whose legal cigarette trade can account for 20 – 30% of their business.

The cigarettes were uncovered in Saturday when a Dutch-registered truck that had disembarked a ferry from Cherbourg, France was stopped and searched as part of routine profiling at Rosslare Europort.

A Bulgarian national, aged in his 40s, was questioned in relation to the seizure and a Revenue spokesperson said that investigations are ongoing.

This seizure is part of Revenue’s ongoing operations targeting the shadow economy and the supply and sale of illegal tobacco products.

If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding smuggling, they can contact Revenue in confidence on freephone number 1800 295 295.

 

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