Thursday, 12 November 2020

REAL or fake?

Have a good look at the cigarette packs. One is real and the other is fake. Counterfeiters are supplying fake cigarettes specifically for the Irish market, complete with Irish language health warnings and the official stamp on the back. They are made in black market factories in China for as little as 20c a pack and sold in Ireland at €4.50 - a real pack costs €8.47. I bought the fake pack in a carton of 200 for €45, sold by a street trader operating in full view. They arrive in Ireland via Far Eastern ports where the manifest declares the tobacco as toys or furniture. An estimated 1 billion smuggled cigarettes are sold in Ireland of which about a third are counterfeits. The counterfeit end of the market is controlled by people with connections to organised crime gangs and dissident paramilitary Irish republican groups such as the Real IRA. The fake pack is the one on the left - its slightly more gold in colour and the embossed B&H logo in the front is not as prominent. The Revenue stamp on the back is a colour photocopy and is slightly blurry in comparison to the real thing and certain security features are missing (but you'd need a UV light to see them). Not withstanding the tobacco companies' scare stories about the fakes testing positive for rat feces, urine and extra helpings of the bad stuff that are in cigarettes anyway, a colleague bravely road-tested a counterfeit. His verdict suggests that the counterfeiters are very good at their job. (Thanks Derek, the new lung is on the way.)

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posted by Eamon Dillon at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the government put too much tax on fags so it servres dem right fellas selling stuff are doin a public service ur an asshole anyway

13 November 2020 00:19  

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