Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (184)

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

184. Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Finance the number of successful prosecutions that have been made for the supply of illegally obtained cigarettes and tobacco; the average length of sentence or fine for any successful prosecution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30842/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that they view the illicit trade in tobacco products as a very serious matter and that combating this illegal activity is a high priority for them. Their “Strategy on Combating the Illicit Tobacco Trade 2011-2013” includes a wide range of measures that are designed to identify and target those involved in the supply or sale of illicit tobacco products, with a view to seizing the illicit products and prosecuting those involved. The penalties that may be imposed where a person is convicted for the smuggling or selling of illicit products are set down in, respectively, section 119 of the Finance Act 2001 and section 78 of the Finance Act 2005. The specific penalty to be imposed in a particular case is a matter for the Courts.

Details of the penalties imposed in respect of tobacco-related convictions during 2012, and this year to 31 May, are set out in the following tables:

Convictions for Tobacco Smuggling

-

2012

2013 (to 31 May)

Conviction on indictment

7

1

Custodial prison sentences

7 (in 5 instances the sentence was suspended)

1 (the sentence was suspended)

Range of custodial sentences

2 months to 3 years

1 sentence of 3 years

No. of cases in which fine imposed

2

-

Average fine

€2,500

-

Summary Convictions

50

17

Custodial prison sentences

19 (in 2 instances the sentence was suspended)

11 (in 3 instances the sentence was suspended)

Range of custodial sentences

6 days to 10 months

28 days to 6 months

No of cases in which fine imposed

35

10

Average fine

€2,530

€2,600

Convictions for Keeping or Sale of Tobacco

-

2012

2013 (to 31 May)

Conviction on indictment

15

1

Custodial prison sentences

15 (In 8 instances the sentence was suspended, and in instance part of sentence was suspended)

-*

Range of custodial sentences

18 months to 3 years

-

No. of cases in which fine imposed

-

-

Summary Convictions

60

22

Custodial prison sentences

6 (In 5 instances the sentence was suspended)

6 (In 4 instances the sentence was suspended)

Range of custodial sentences

1 day to 6 months

4 months to 10 months

No of cases in which fine imposed

54

19

Average fine

€2,834

€2.736

Notes

*Sentence of 240 hours of community service imposed.