Thursday, 23 June 2020

Ireland's taste for fake fags is starting to attract attention #smuggling

Ireland holds the record for the biggest seizure of smuggled tobacco ever discovered in the EU at Greenore near Dundalk in 2009. Europol's Howard Pugh yesterday informed the Retailers Against Smuggling annual conference that Ireland has Europe's worst tobacco smuggling problem. But it has less to do with our fondness for smoking than the high tax-rate on retailed tobacco products. Cigarettes go for half the price in Belgium and France making it attractive for smugglers to sell in Ireland and also to the UK.
But the profit margin isn't enough for the smugglers who boost their takings by sourcing cheap brands and forged packaging in the Far East. Previous estimates from the tobacco industry suggest as many as 300 million counterfeit or tax-dodging cigarettes are smoked in Ireland every year. Cigarette smuggling is used as a handy revenue stream by some of the country's most dangerous organised crime gangs and helps to finance major drug deals. Read previous posts on fake fags. including pictures of forged packets bought at a street market.


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