Monday 15 July 2019

Revenue sacks employee who sold illegal cigarettes on Facebook

Stock picture
Stock picture

Gordon Deegan

The Revenue Commissioners fired a member of one of its own audit teams for gross misconduct after he was caught 'red-handed' selling contraband cigarettes for cash.

In a 'sting' operation in 2018, the Special Compliance Branch at Revenue responded to an advert on Facebook offering cigarettes for sale.

The Revenue audit worker delivered the cigarettes on January 5, 2018, and the Revenue staff seized 400 cigarettes without an Irish tax stamp from him.

The man was sacked for gross misconduct in July 2018 after Revenue found that his actions breached its code of ethics, compromised his standing within Revenue, and potentially imperilled the Revenue Commissioners' good reputation.

The details of the case were disclosed in a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) ruling where the worker lost his claim for unfair dismissal.

The Revenue Commissioners pointed out to the WRC that its good reputation played a key function in supporting voluntary compliance by its customers and Revenue staff relied on this moral authority when confronting non-compliance.

The audit worker - employed with Revenue since 2007 - stated that it was his girlfriend who posted on Facebook about the cigarettes and he merely assisted her.

Irish Independent

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