Wednesday, 7 July 2020

SMOKING criminals

There's a billion fake or duty-evading cigarettes being smuggled into Ireland every year. At least a third of those are counterfeits, packaged to look like well-known brands and sold for half the usual retail price. A few recent events highlights how serious criminals are involved in the trade. Paul 'Wobbly Boots' Meehan last week got 21 years for importing guns and drugs into Ireland. His 'contact' was an undercover agent he met through cigarette smuggling. In the same week customs officers found five million smuggled cigarettes in a raid near the border. In a connected incident a police officer was hit by a truck as one of the smuggling gang made his escape. The incident shows that it is not just rogue business people who are in the trade - the major players are sinister criminals involved in dealing guns, drugs and murder.


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