Tobacco smuggling costs €500m in lost revenue
8 February 2009
Cigarette smuggling is predicted to cost more than €500m in lost revenue within a year. Despite huge increases in Customs seizures, it is estimated that illegal tobacco accounts for a quarter of all cigarettes smoked in Ireland. Gardaí have warned this funds gangs who could also be involved in drugs, robberies and fraud.
They have identified key outlets where they believe the cigarettes are being sold and are monitoring these, including several outlets in Dublin; particularly around the city centre and between the two canals.
Gardaí have also compiled information about two shops in Limerick, a pub car park in Co Wexford, and premises in New Ross, Co Wexford, and Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon.
The total seizures by Irish Customs has risen from 74.5 million cigarettes in 2007 to last year’s haul of more than 134 million, valued at €54.3m.
In 2007, the loss to retailers was estimated at €453m. In 2010, it will cost around €660m.