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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Retailers fuming over illegal cigarette trade

Up to 100 retailers are to meet tomorrow evening on the issues of cigarette smuggling and illegal cigarette selling in Dublin.

Contraband cigarettes seized by Revenue
Contraband cigarettes seized by Revenue
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

‘FURIOUS’ RETAILERS ARE set to meet tomorrow evening to discuss the cigarette smuggling and illegal cigarette selling problems in Dublin – and are calling on the Government to take action.

They will gather at a private meeting organised by Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) at the Carnegie Court Hotel in Swords, which they note is in Minister for Health James Reilly’s constituency.

They say they are angry because:

the illegal cigarette trade in Dublin continues to flourish without any action being taken by the Government. The retail trade estimates that the loss to business from the illegal trade is €500 million, while the loss to the Exchequer is €460 million.

The retailers say that in Minister Reilly’s own constituency, “illegal cigarettes are sold openly at a number of well-known markets, in some instances using children to conduct transactions”.

Government

Retailer Benny Gilsenan, who is the spokesman for RAS, said:

It beggars belief that the Minister wants to raise the price of a packet of illegal cigarettes to €20, yet at the same time criminals are free to sell illegal products for as a little as €3 right on his doorstep.

It is expected that among those attending the meeting on Monday will be a number of Government TDs, gardai, councillors and Revenue officials.

Gilsenan added that the Minister, along with other TDs in the area,  had been invited to the meeting. He said that he hoped Minister Reilly would attend to hear retailers’ concerns.

Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) are looking for a number of measures to tackle the illegal cigarette trade, including the introduction of a minimum fine of €10,000 for people caught selling or smuggling illegal cigarettes, and a clampdown at markets and fairs where illegal cigarettes are sold.

Read: James Reilly pledges to tackle smoking problem in Europe>

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