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One in three cigarettes in city is illegal

ONE in three cigarettes sold in Dublin is illegal.

And tobacco manufacturers claim Ireland's "paltry fines" and the ease with which illegal cigarettes are sold here is making Ireland a target for international crime gangs.

The figure of 33.1pc in Dublin city centre is above the national average of 29.8pc, new findings show.

It placed Dublin sixth highest of 22 towns and cities surveyed in Ireland by MS Intelligence for the second quarter of 2012.

•The highest level of illegal cigarettes was in Waterford with 44.5pc.

•Newbridge in Kildare came second with 41.5pc,

•Limerick was third at 37.5pc with Navan at 35.6pc and Letterkenny at 33.9pc.



surge

A spokesman for the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee (ITMAC) said:

"Following the Government's increase in the VAT and Excise in the last Budget, pushing the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes to over €9, there has been a surge in the amount of NIDP cigarettes on the streets."

The survey shows that the next highest area for the sale of illegal cigarettes after Dublin was Leixlip (32.3pc), followed by Bray (32pc); Swords (28.6pc); Dundalk (28pc); Drogheda; Tallaght, Cork (27.9pc each); Clonmel (24.8pc); Athlone (23.7pc); Tralee (20pc); Wexford (19.9pc); Ennis (18.2pc).

mlavery@herald.ie


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