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Ireland. Revenue Commissioners. (2018) Revenue Commissioners annual report 2017. Dublin: Revenue Commissioners.

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Revenue has primary responsibility for the prevention, detection, interception and seizure of controlled drugs intended to be smuggled or illegally imported to or exported from the State. During 2017, we made 6,064 seizures of 3,692 kilos of drugs with an estimated value of almost €60 million (Table 19). We work closely with An Garda Síochána, particularly the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, in joint investigations and operations targeting the illegal importation, exportation, supply and distribution of controlled drugs. We participated in 41 such operations during the year.


Tobacco Products

Trade in illicit tobacco products represents a serious risk to the Exchequer, undermines health policy and funds organised crime. The 2017 Illegal Tobacco Products Research Survey conducted by IPSOS/MRBI for Revenue and the HSE National Tobacco Control Office shows that 13% of cigarette packs held by surveyed smokers are classified as illegal (an increase of 3 percentage points compared to 2016). The 2017 and earlier years’ results are published on our website. In 2017, we continued our extensive programme of enforcement action, targeting all parts of the supply chain. We seized more than 34 million cigarettes and 1,768 kilograms of other tobacco products with a retail value of more than €20 million, (Table 20) representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of over €16 million in tax and duty.



We target the supply and sale of illegal and counterfeit alcohol. Illicit trade in alcohol occurs through smuggling from countries with lower excise tax rates, illegally diverting untaxed alcohol on to the market, or the production of counterfeit alcohol. During 2017, Revenue seized 95,021 litres of illicit alcohol with an estimated value of €0.91 million. In November we uncovered a large-scale counterfeit vodka production plant, processing denatured industrial alcohol. Vodka is the most commonly counterfeited alcohol and often contains high quantities of poisonous chemicals such as methanol and isopropyl alcohol. We seized 586 litres of finished vodka-type product that was bottled, sealed, labelled and boxed, along with 4,000 litres of raw alcohol product, which would produce in the region of 12,000 litres of vodka-type spirits. The illicit alcohol product in this plant represented a potential loss to the Exchequer of approximately €300,000.

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