Garlic Tax Evasion? – that explains things…

So – who knew that the tax on garlic importation was so high?

The jailing yesterday of Irish importer Paul Begley, for evading €1.6million in tax (by declaring Chinese garlic as apples) has caused quite a stir.  But possibly due to the lenght of his sentence (6 years), when compared to that of the banking fraudsters of this parish (0 years)…

It also reminded me of this….

Below is an extract from a query I sent to a consumer radio slot, way back in 2007.

‘ Shopping in Dunnes Stores last week, I picked up a net of garlic. Unpacking later, I noticed that for 99 cent I got 10 bulbs in the net, including 33% extra free, and they were imported from China. I thought this figure had to be a mistake. I rang the store in question who said the price was correct and that is was an offer. Bear in mind – their single bulbs are priced at 44c and are imported from Spain.

I appreciate that bulk buys are cheaper, but how could Dunnes, or anyone in this supply chain possibly make any profit on this. Bearing in mind you have a grower, picker – all the way back in China – exporter, shipping costs, distribution and God knows who else involved.

Wouldn’t it be a really eye-opening exercise to trace back the journey of these humble garlics and see who got what out of their purchase by me. Something tells me the Chinese workers are not dining out on it anyway. And how could it possibly be cheaper to import these from China than those from Spain or elsewhere in Europe’

Does the tax evasion relevation explain why this Chinese import was sold so cheaply??