€7,300 of cigarettes are seized

Published 29/10/2013 | 13:09

Nearly 17,000 cigarettes with a retail value of €7,300 were seized in the Carlow town area on Tuesday of last week. The seizure was made as the result of an intelligence-led operation during which officers also seized a BMW X5 Jeep.

INCREASE IN TOBACCO LICENCE

Nearly 17,000 cigarettes with a retail value of €7,300 were seized in the Carlow town area on Tuesday of last week. The seizure was made as the result of an intelligence-led operation during which officers also seized a BMW X5 Jeep.

A total of 16,980 cigarettes were seized in the operation with an estimated loss the Exchequer of €6,112.

The Carlow discovery came after the National Federation of Retail Newsagents warned that there would be an increase in smuggling activity following the announcement that all retailers, from the smallest corner shop to the biggest supermarket chain, would have to pay a new annual licensing fee of €500.

The move was described as a 'sneak attack' by the federation, as it was not contained in the Minister for Finance's budget speech.

The ten fold increase will come as a hard blow to Carlow shopkeepers who are already struggling to stay afloat and for whom the tobacco trade is an integral part of their business.

Joe Sweeney of the NFRN said: 'This new charge on retailers is such a perverse and counter-productive policy decision that it will bring delight and greater profits to the criminal and paramilitary gangs now flooding the Irish market with smuggled tobacco.'

If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding the smuggling or sale of illegal cigarettes, they can contact Revenue in confidence on Free Phone Number 1800 295 295.

Carlow People

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