13m cigarettes seized in Dublin and Tyrone

Revenue’s customs service has seized over 9m cigarettes at Dublin Port with a retail value of more than €4.5m.

The seizure was as a result of an intelligence-led operation between officers here and their counterparts in the Chinese customs service.

A container, which had left China aboard the vessel MV Cosco Fortune, sailed via the ports of Ningbo and Rotterdam and finally arrived into Dublin Port on board a different vessel.

The ‘Dorchester’ brand cigarettes were described on the manifest as ‘vacuum cleaners’ andare believed to be counterfeit.

A spokeswoman for the service said investigations into the importation were continuing. She said the cigarettes seized represent a potential €3.8m loss to the exchequer, assuming that they would have displaced the equivalent full-tax paid quantity of cigarettes.

In a separate, joint operation involving Revenue’s customs officers, Britain’s revenue and customs service and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, five men were arrested and more than 4m cigarettes along with a suspected mobile fuel laundering plant were seized in Co Tyrone.

Revenue said both seizures are part of its ongoing operations targeting the supply and sale of illegal cigarettes.

“If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding the smuggling or sale of illegal cigarettes or tobacco, they can contact Revenue in confidence on freephone number 1800 295 295,” said a spokeswoman.

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