A haul of almost 600 illegal and dangerous weapons has been seized by Customs this year, with an AK-47, a sub-machine gun, ninja-style throwing stars, and samurai swords among the most lethal.
The Revenue Commissioners revealed that officers made 165 seizures up to mid-December, with 596 weapons prevented from reaching the streets.
The most deadly haul was recovered in May and included the AK-47 assault rifle, sub-machine gun, an automatic rifle, a bolt-action rifle, a pistol, and three magazines of ammunition. The cache came into the country from Germany and was valued at €1,137.
The most expensive seizure was of 61 weapons used by fans of war games — billed as the reality of war without the danger. The replica guns included 48 rifles and a dozen revolvers with the Airsoft make from Hong Kong, valued at €6,000.
The guns are not illegal in Ireland but agents selling weapons have enforced a tagging system supported by Government to monitor the replica guns used.
The report also revealed 43 items of what officers classed as military memorabilia, but still illegal. They included a Browning 50mm machine gun, rifles known as K-98, Ross, and Valmet, a Mauser semi-automatic, a Webley and Scott revolver, and a Webley MK1V.
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