App Could Help Stop €691m In Illicit Cigarette Trade

Senator Catherine Noone today outlined in the Seanad how developing a smartphone app based on the Codentify technology could assist the Government in preventing the counterfeiting or smuggling of cigarettes in Ireland, a problem that currently costs up to €691m per annum according to a recent Grant Thornton report.

Senator Noone said “This use of technology, named Codentify, to assist law enforcers in identifying counterfeit cigarettes and using on the spot fines, is exactly the sort of technologically-driven thinking we should be promoting as we seek to challenge old problems with new solutions. Codentify is due to be rolled out in Switzerland in the coming months, with a number of other countries planning trials of their own, and I would like to see Ireland give it due consideration”.

Senator Noone continued: “The recent Grant Thornton report highlights how illicit trade in cigarettes in Ireland costs the exchequer somewhere between €294m and €691m per annum. Over a five-year period, that could be up to €3bn saved by the exchequer, not to mention the revenue received from the fines that would be given”.

Senator Noone added: “Now’s the time to seriously consider the Codentify scheme, or something like it, as we seek to quash the threat of illicit trade in Ireland across cigarettes, fuel smuggling and digital piracy. All told, illicit trade costs Ireland up to €1.48bn per annum according to this recent report, and now’s the time we took action. Honest taxpayers in Ireland have worked too hard for too long to allow this kind of thing to continue unchallenged. We need new solutions, and I hope that the Minister for Justice will take this system into consideration”.

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