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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 210- Illicit trade in tobacco [6027/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 210- Illicit trade in tobacco [6027/15]. (10 Feb 2015)


210. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Finance his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the health issues and legal issues arising from the sale of illegal cigarettes in County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6027/15]

 

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they are very conscious of the threat that the illegal importation of cigarettes poses to the Exchequer and to legitimate business and they have adopted a comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem throughout the country, including Co Louth.  Intensified targeting, in co-operation with other law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border, of enforcement action against suspected cigarette smuggling operations has already yielded significant results.

 

A total of 44 cigarette seizures in County Louth in 2014 yielded 33,350,192 illicit cigarettes.  Drogheda market is closely monitored and 5 of the seizures in Co Louth in 2014 were made at that market, yielding 5,360 cigarettes and 1.7 kgs of illicit tobacco.

In line with best practice in tax and customs administration worldwide, Revenue regards the development of information and intelligence as critical to the detection of evasion and smuggling, including cigarette smuggling.  Revenue will maintain its approach of seizing illicit cigarettes and, where possible, prosecuting those who do not comply with the legislation in relation to the illegal importation of cigarettes.  In this regard, if the Deputy has further intelligence which would be helpful, the Revenue Commissioners would welcome it.

 

The Commissioners appreciate the efforts made by the person (details supplied) in reporting his concerns about illicit cigarettes on sale at Drogheda market and regret that he had some difficulty in locating a contact point for his call.   The Commissioners operate a confidential Freephone for Drug and Tobacco Smuggling.  This dedicated telephone number (1800 295 295) is available on a 24/7 basis to members of the public who wish to pass on information or suspicions about illicit activity.   This number is promoted on the homepage of the Revenue website at  www.revenue.ie  under Drugs and Tobacco Smuggling  Hotline. It is also available in the current telephone directory where it is the first listed under "Frequently Used Numbers" in the Revenue part of the State Directory pages.   In addition, a direct contact number for Revenue's anti evasion teams in the Border Midland West Region (in which Co Louth is situated)  may be found on the Revenue website under the heading "Contact Details,  Special Compliance District, Revenue Anti- Evasion Team   North East", telephone number 042 9331606 or by email to scdnortheast@revenue.ie  . I am assured by the Revenue Commissioners that calls to both the Illegal Cigarettes Hotline and the Anti Evasion Team are monitored at all times.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Irish-related
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
Date
10 February 2015
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