The number of illegal weapons and ammunition intercepted by customs officials at ports and airports is expected to outstrip last year’s total, figure indicate.
Glock handguns, machetes, revolvers, cans of tear gas and even an air mortar bomb are among the items already seized by customs in the first 10 months of this year, with most intercepted at the Dublin Mail Centre and Dublin Airport.
According to data provided by the Revenue Commissioners, by the start of this month officials had made 186 separate seizures of illegal weapons and related paraphernalia. The total number of seizures in 2012 was 199.
While many items originated in China and the US, there is a variety of countries from which the items were sent, including Russia, South Africa, Turkey, and the Philippines.
Another concern is the number of signal jammers seized — 13 so far this year at the Dublin Mail Centre.
Signal jammers have been used increasingly by criminals to block security alarms during burglaries and robberies. Once a landline connection between the alarm system and the security firms’ monitoring stations is cut, a signal should be emitted from a transmitter over mobile phone networks, but a jammer can block this. Security firms have been working at devising ways of stopping the effectiveness of the jammers.
At least four radar detectors were also seized at the Dublin Mail Centre. They are used by motorists to detect if their vehicle is being monitored by police.
One of the more remarkable items intercepted by Customs officials is a First World War air mortar bomb seized on Jun 20 at the parcel post depot in Portlaoise.
A total of 75 items were seized at the Dublin Mail centre in the first 10 months of this year, with another 50 seized at Dublin Airport.
A semi automatic pistol was seized in August at Dublin Airport, while a vintage Nagant revolver was among the 19 separate seizures in Cork. On Aug 14 two Glock handguns and 19 bullets were seized in Cork.
A Revenue spokesperson said: “In all cases, the weapons were consigned to individuals.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved