Opposition MLA, Mr McCarthy said: “The authorities need to do more to clamp down on the illegal cigarette trade because it often lines the pockets of paramilitary thugs.
“Unfortunately buying illegal cigarettes is often too much of a temptation for many people, because they are cheaper than shop price. People need to think about where their cash is going to before they buy from these rogue traders. I am sure many would be disturbed to know that their cash may be filling paramilitary coffers.
“Ideally people should do think about giving up smoking altogether, but if they choose to do so they should avoid illegal sales.”