Smuggling an epidemic, says store-owner Gahan
CIGARETTE SMUGGLING has reached epidemic proportions in the south east according to one Enniscorthy retailer. Chapel Lane store owner Jimmy Gahan expressed his frustration at the way that legitimate traders are being undercut by the black market suppliers.
The shopkeeper-cum-broadcaster was speaking in the wake of last week seizure €1.5 worth of illicit cigarettes in Enniscorthy last week. He was worried that the breakthrough by the Revenue Commissioners probably only uncovered the tip of an iceberg of tobacco smuggling.
'When you combine the amount seized with the last major seizure, nearly eight million illegal cigarettes have been seized in Enniscorthy in the past six months,' Jimmy Gahan pointed out. ' It means that the South East is awash with illegal cigarettes and smugglers and criminals are undercutting legitimate retailers and businesses like my own.'
Mr Gahan added that the sale of illegal cigarettes was rampant across Wexford, but that the situation was particularly bad in Enniscorthy. He described what was happening in the town as an epidemic. A member of the 'Retailers Against Smuggling' (RAS) organisation, Jimmy Gahan warned that the illicit competitors are undermining businesses and jobs.
He called for greater fines on people convicted of cigarette smuggling and illegal cigarette selling backed by a clampdown on markets and fairs where illegal selling takes place.