Files prepared for DPP over three crackdowns on cigarette smuggling

CUSTOMS officials are preparing a number of files for the Director of Public Prosecutions following three operations last weekend in Cork against illegal cigarette smuggling.

The operations were the latest in a series of crackdowns against cigarette smugglers operating in the region.

On Saturday, officers from the Revenue’s Customs Service seized 4,600 contraband cigarettes which a couple were selling from the back of their family-type saloon.

The officers seized the cigarettes and the car, which had illegal agricultural diesel in the fuel tank.

The same day at Cork Airport, officers seized 16,500 cigarettes from “a number of individuals arriving on holiday flights from abroad”.

A spokesman for the Customs Service said the seizures were a result of “routine profiling”.

The following day, also as a result of routine profiling, an Eastern European-registered ship was boarded in Cork. A search of the vessel revealed 12,000 illegal cigarettes. The vessel is still being detained.

Among the brands seized over the weekend were Bon, L&M, Marlboro, CK, Superkings and Gold Classic.

The total value of the cigarettes was €15,000.

Meanwhile, gardaí arrested four men and seized an estimated €200,000 worth of cannabis following searches at a number of homes and business premises in the Kinsale, Ballinspittle, Kilbrittain and Timoleague areas. Gardaí used a sniffer dog as part of the weekend operation.

The men, ranging in age from 26 to 52, were detained at Bandon Garda Station under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act.

A garda spokesman said the men were released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

The cannabis has been sent to garda headquarters in Dublin for analysis.

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