Monday 20 November 2017

Counterfeit alcohol seized by customs in online probe

Tom Brady Security Editor

CUSTOMS officers have intercepted a haul of counterfeit alcohol, which had been advertised for sale on Facebook.

The officers moved in as the spirits and wine were being distributed in the Dundalk area.

A middle-aged man was questioned by officers and inquiries into the find were being widened yesterday.

A file will now be prepared for the DPP, who will determine if the suspect should face criminal charges.

As a result of a planned operation in Dundalk, Customs seized about 100 litres of counterfeit spirits, a large quantity of wine and an alleged distributor's vehicle.

This was the second big alcohol seizure in the Dundalk area in the past three months.

In April, Customs found 26,000 litres of pure industrial alcohol, valued at €984,000, during a search in Dundalk.

The alcohol was found to contain high levels of methanol, which officers said could be very harmful if consumed.

A Revenue spokeswoman pointed out last night that cheap alcohol from an irregular source was likely to be counterfeit and could potentially cause serious harm when consumed.

It also diverted much needed funds from the Exchequer and hurt legitimate trade.

SMUGGLERS

Meanwhile, retailers have warned that Ireland remains a target for smugglers after another substantial cigarettes seizure by Customs officers.

Officers found 10.4 million cigarettes yesterday in a container that arrived at Dublin Port from Rotterdam.

The haul of Gold Classic brand cigarettes has a street value of €4.6m and represents a potential loss to the Exchequer of €3.7m.

Retailers Against Smuggling group said some gangs were making up to €3m a week from the racket and called for jail sentences to be imposed for tax evasion.

Irish Independent

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