12 billion cigarettes out of the economy

Interesting intervention by Ian Paisley in Westminster yesterday:

…for every man, woman and child in Ulster, £80 from the economy is stolen by paramilitaries. Some £140 million a year goes into the pockets of the paramilitaries, and £245 million is lost each year as a result of fuel-laundering rackets. The latter problem is so great that one of the leading fuel companies, Shell, has pulled out of Northern Ireland. Moreover, 6 per cent. of all cigarettes sold in Northern Ireland are illegal; that 6 per cent. consists of imported and counterfeit cigarettes. Such illegal activity takes 12 billion cigarettes out of the economy every year.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty