Organised crime in Republic worth at least €1.7bn annually
The international research group, Transcrime, profiled the Irish crime scene – along with the underworld in other countries – in a project funded by the European Commission’s “prevention of and fight against crime programme”.
The Portfolio of Organised Crime in Europe report for the first time puts a monetary value on Irish organised crime.
There was “high evidence” of the involvement of Irish, British and Chinese gangs along with republican paramilitaries in Irish for-profit organised crime.
And a second tier of criminal gangs included a range of African crime syndicates along with those from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Georgia, “other Asian” and “other eastern European”.
In Ireland, rates of drug consumption – from chronic addiction to infrequent recreational drug-taking – was “relatively high” in an international context.
‘Strategic transit country’
But rather than the drugs trade being based on supplying indigenous users, Ireland was “a strategic transit country for illicit drugs destined for the UK and other EU countries”.
While the revenue from cannabis was estimated at as low as EUR47 million annually, the cocaine market was valued at EUR100 million and the heroin market, because the street value of the drug was very high, was valued at EUR623 million.
The illegal cigarettes market in Ireland – involving counterfeit or smuggled cigarettes with no duties or VAT paid – is worth EUR277 million annually, or just over EUR5 million per week.
The value of counterfeit software sold in the Republic annually was estimated at EUR111 million and counterfeit medicines at EUR86 million annually. Fuel laundering was costing the exchequer EUR190 million.
The crime portfolio report draws an all data available to establish the maximum and minimum value for each crime type, along with the likely actually value.
In the drugs trade, for example, it has taken all available data from the Garda including the value of drug seizures.
But it has also examined the price of illicit drugs on Irish streets and international studies of drug taking prevalence in determining the value of market for each drug type in the Republic.
- ^ European Commission (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Garda S?och?na (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Transcrime (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Ireland (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Bulgaria (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Lithuania (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Romania (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Russia (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Georgia (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Spain (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Netherlands (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Africa (www.irishtimes.com)
- ^ Morocco (www.irishtimes.com)