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51 convictions for illegal tobacco sale and smuggling so far this year

Over 11 million cigarettes and 2,913kgs of tobacco have been seized by Revenue.

Image: Recenue's Customs Service

THERE HAVE BEEN 51 convictions to date in 2013 for the smuggling and sale of illicit tobacco products according to figures from the Revenue Commissioners.

The figures were provided by Finance Minister Michael Noonan in response to a parliamentary question from TD Tom Fleming.

There have been over 3,000 cigarette seizures and 609 tobacco seizures in the year up until June, Noonan said. That means over 11 million cigarettes and some 2,913 kgs of tobacco have been seized already in 2013.

Noonan said that “interception of illicit tobacco products is achieved through a combination of risk analysis, profiling and intelligence and the screening of cargo, vehicles, baggage and postal packages”.

“Revenue officers also target the illicit trade at the post-importation level by carrying out intelligence-based operations and random checks at retail outlets, markets and private and commercial premises”.

In total last year there were 132 convictions for illegal tobacco sale and smuggling with 95.6 million cigarettes seized as well as 5,276 kgs of tobacco.

Noonan said that Revenue attaches a “high priority” to dealing with this criminal activity and that there has been “considerable success” in detecting and prosecuting those involved.

Read: Roll-your-own tobacco imported from China seized in north Dublin>

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