Hefty fine for illegally-sold tobacco

A DEFENDANT with a previously unblemished record admitted having tobacco in his possession for sale at his home.

A DEFENDANT with a previously unblemished record admitted having tobacco in his possession for sale at his home.

Joseph Fitzgerald, 36 Rice Park, Callan was convicted of having tobacco products for sale without proper stamp duty at his home on December 28, 2010. The court heard that a warrant was obtained by customs officers who arrived at the defendant’s house. The defendant showed them tobacco products under a bed and said that he bought them on holidays and gave money to a number of other people to bring back tobacco which he then sold on.

The court heard that the defendant was found to have 55 packets of tobacco in his possession with a value of €955 and that the duty lost was €771.

The court heard that the 47-year-old defendant co-operated with the initial search and is in full time employment and lives with his partner and four step children.

The defendant told the court that he had went on holidays the previous August and brought back a number of pouches and had sold them on. The court heard that the sale of the products had been ‘nipped in the bud’ by the customs officers and that the defendant had co-operated fully. Evidence was also heard that the defendant was ‘very concerned’ about the matter and had previously enjoyed an unblemished record. Judge David Anderson convicted him and fined him €2500.