Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 55 - Illicit trade in tobacco. [5874/14]

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 55 - Illicit trade in tobacco. [5874/14]. (05 Feb 2014)

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55. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance the reason for his recent statement that he feared that persons involved in the legal tobacco trade were also involved in the illegal trade; if he has any evidence that this is a fact; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5874/14]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I made this statement in the context of a debate on illegal trade in tobacco in this House last November. I am aware that some years back there was a problem where it appeared that the tobacco industry was involved in the oversupply of certain markets.  As a result of this the European Community and the Member States concluded  co-operation agreements with the four main tobacco companies with the stated aim of reinforcing the fight against cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting.  These agreements provide for payments by the tobacco companies in circumstances where smuggled product of the companies is detected. Ireland has received approximately €6.5m in payments since 2005.  
In addition, I am aware that the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is conducting an investigation into the business affairs of one of the major tobacco manufacturers.  As far as I am aware this investigation is ongoing. I believe that there is a need to monitor all potential sources of illicit cigarettes into the Irish market. 

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