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Friday 19 January 2018

Cigarette seizure more than pot luck

Tom Brady Security Editor

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.

Irish Independent

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