Wednesday 18 October 2017

Customs seize €3.1m cigarettes hidden in garlic and cheese boxes

Tom Brady Security Editor

EIGHT million smuggled cigarettes, stored in boxes labelled "garlic and cheese tear and share" have been found by Customs officers at Dublin Port.

The find was made by officers using a mobile scanner during a routine check of a refrigerated unit that had arrived at the port from Rotterdam.

The haul, which included 'Top Mountain', 'Bon International', 'Royal' and 'Jim' brands, has an estimated retail value of €3.1m.

The smuggled cigarettes were found in a shipment that had been described as "chilled foodstuffs".

An Irish-registered commercial vehicle and a refrigerated trailer were seized and the Irish driver, a man in his mid-40s, was interviewed.

The haul brings the total value of contraband cigarettes seized by Revenue so far this year to €89.5m.

Retailers Against Smuggling yesterday called on the Government to introduce harsher measures to tackle what they called the cigarette smuggling epidemic.

Spokesman Benny Gilsenan said almost 700 jobs had been lost last year in the retail trade as a result of the illegal cigarette trade.

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