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Smokes raid shows huge black market

THE seizure of €14m of illegal cigarettes at Dublin Port this week shows the scale of the black market for such products in Ireland.

More than 38m of the cigarettes were uncovered after authorities found them packed into four 40ft containers.

The haul was the biggest capture of illegal cigarettes in Europe so far this year, and the third biggest ever recorded in the Republic.

Only diligent work by Revenue's Customs officers foiled the plot.

They perform excellent work daily but officers cannot intercept every consignment. Which begs the question: for every €14m haul that is seized how much more gets through?

Tobacco costs the State millions in lost revenue annually. This week's haul alone would have cost the Exchequer €13.1m.

The scale of this crime is shocking. All efforts must be taken to combat it.


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