Cigarette seizure more than pot luck
Published 11/12/2010 | 05:00
Customs officers expected to find more than a quick lunch when they sifted through a consignment of 'pot noodles' at Dublin port yesterday.
The shipment had arrived in a 40ft container from Singapore.
Officers had become suspicious about the shipment as a result of intelligence and profiling its route into the country.
When they opened the container they found no evidence of noodles -- and instead discovered eight million John Player Blue cigarettes.
In a separate operation on Thursday night, officers, backed up by armed gardai from Coolock, seized a 20ft container and van containing about four million Marlboro Light cigarettes.
The container had arrived into Dublin port from China and its contents had been listed as 'alloy wheels'.
A number of Dublin men were detained at the scene but were later released after questioning. A file is to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The two seizures of counterfeit cigarettes have a total estimated retail value of €3.6m and represent a potential loss to the Exchequer of €3m.
The hauls were welcomed last night by the Retailers Against Smuggling group whose spokesman Benny Gilsenan said state coffers lost about €500m every year from non-Irish duty-paid cigarettes.