Illicit cigarettes sold in Limerick via Facebook

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Piotr Matusiewicz admitted advertising illicit cigarettes on Facebook
A POLISH man who sold illicit cigarettes to an undercover Revenue officer who replied to an advert on Facebook was fined €2,500.

A POLISH man who sold illicit cigarettes to an undercover Revenue officer who replied to an advert on Facebook was fined €2,500.

Piotr Matusiewicz who has an address at Lelia Street in the city pleaded guilty to charges relating to an incident on June 10, 2014.

Limerick District Court was told the Revenue officer responded to an advertisement on Facebook and that he later met the defendant and bought 200 unstamped cigarettes off him for €45.

A further quantity of illicit cigarettes were seized when Mr Matusiewicz’s home was searched the following day.

Revenue officer Christopher Mulqueen told the court the defendant made admissions under caution and solicitor Michelle Madden, prosecuting, said the total loss of revenue to the State was €74.40.

Being cross-examined by solicitor Sarah Ryan, 0fficer Mulqueen said the sale of illicit cigarettes via adverts on Facebook is a “regular occurrence” and that the social networking site is routinely monitored by Revenue officers.

Ms Ryan said her client, who has no previous convictions, had bought the cigarettes while in Spain and that he “genuinely did not know” that what he was doing was an offence.

She said Mr Matusiewicz, who has been living in Ireland for ten years, had cooperated fully with the investigation and will not be coming before the courts again.

Judge Marian O’Leary imposed a fine of €5,000 – mitigating it to €2,500.

The defendant was given 12 months to pay the fine with a default penalty of ten days’ imprisonment if he fails to pay.