Cigarettes worth €3.1m seized by Customs
INVESTIGATIONS were under way in three countries last night after Customs officers seized a €3.1m shipment of smuggled cigarettes.
Officers intercepted a 40-ft container, which had arrived in Dublin Port from Spain, via Rotterdam.
The container held a shipment of 7.2 million Marlboro cigarettes, with an estimated street value of €3.1m and a potential loss to the exchequer of about €2.4m.
The seizure was welcomed last night by Retailers Against Smuggling, the representative group for Ireland's tobacco retailers. It pointed out that retailers had lost close to €700m in sales from tobacco being sold illegally on the black market last year.
Spokesman Benny Gilsenan said about 30pc of people over the age of 18 years were still smoking but shop sales were down by a quarter, proving that a large number of cigarettes were being bought through illegal sources.
It called for tougher sentences for convicted smugglers.