A HAUL of almost 600 illegal and dangerous weapons has been seized by Customs this year, with an AK-47, a sub-machine gun, ninja-style throwing stars and samurai swords among the most lethal.
The Revenue Commissioners revealed that officers made 165 seizures up to mid-December, with 596 weapons prevented from reaching the streets.
The most deadly haul was recovered in May and included the AK-47 assault rifle and sub-machine gun, an automatic rifle, a bolt-action rifle, a pistol and three magazines of ammunition.
Customs said the cache came into the country from Germany and was valued at €1,137.
The most expensive seizure was 61 weapons used by fans of the war games phenomenon – billed as the reality of war without the danger.
The replica guns included 48 rifles and a dozen revolvers from Hong Kong valued at €6,000 with the Airsoft make.
The guns are not illegal in Ireland but agents selling weapons have enforced a tagging system supported by Government to monitor the replica guns used.
The Customs' report on illegal weapons also revealed 43 items of what officers classed as military memorabilia, but which is still illegal.
They included a Browning 50mm machine gun, rifles known as K-98, Ross and Valmet, a Mauser semi-automatic, a Webley and Scott revolver, a Webley MK1V and associated extras such as tripod stands.
The weapons were given a nominal value of one euro.
There was a large number of unusual seizures, such as a sword concealed in a black walking stick, a modified silencer and a pair of sabre claws, as featured in 'The Chronicles Of Riddick' film starring Vin Diesel.
Many varieties of illegal knives, such as flick, stiletto and butterfly knives, machetes, samurai and katana swords and a Gurkha sword, were seized.
The list also included 40 lasers, 20 Taser-style weapons, 37 stun guns and more than 30 signal and two boxes of meat cleavers.