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'Smuggling kingpin' to get tax bill for over €1m

A BUSINESSMAN regarded as a kingpin in the cross-border fuel laundering and cigarette smuggling trade, will be hit with a seven-figure tax demand early this year.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is drawing up the bill following a multi-agency investigation into the man's activities.

The suspect had links with republican groups until he fell out with them and was warned he would not survive if they clashed again.

He was one of four people arrested on a swoop on a truck carrying €4.3m of cigarettes on the M1 near Castlebellingham, Co Louth, last September

Suspected fuel launderers and cigarette smugglers featured towards the top of the CAB's agenda throughout 2013.

CONFISCATING

Officers carried out 25 searches in the border counties with the aim of confiscating €1.75m of assets from 21 people.

Former senior members of the IRA in south Armagh were among the suspects.

The CAB has handed more than €10m to the Exchequer in the past year – €5m of it seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, €5.3m of it in taxes and €500,000 in social welfare overpayments.

The figure is significantly up on the previous year.

The bureau made tax demands of €12.9m in the past year, but many of the applications have yet to be settled.

The CAB was set up in 1996 in the wake of the murders of Sunday Independent journalist Veronica Guerin and detective garda Jerry McCabe, who was shot dead by the IRA in Adare, Co Limerick.

hnews@herald.ie


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