Minister calls for prices probe

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TOBACCO wholesalers and retailers could be ripping off customers and the taxpayer to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, according to the Treasury Minister.

Senator Philip Ozouf has raised concerns that they are exploiting smokers by stockpiling cigarettes bought at 2012 duty prices and selling them with the additional 2013 duty added on.

He has now called for the Island's competition watchdog to investigate the matter to make sure the sellers are not exploiting a dominant market position and profiteering.

Senator Ozouf explained that duty was paid when tobacco was imported and not when products were sold by retailers.

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