Over two million cigarettes have been seized in a major cross-border operation between An Garda Síochána and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Along with the cigarettes, a tobacco processing plant, 12 tonnes of tobacco and £50,000 sterling were found in nine searches across Down, Tyrone and Armagh. Police in Northern Ireland have arrested and quizzed five people in connection to the illicit tobacco. A Ford Transit van was also seized in Dublin.
Searches in Dublin South and Louth also uncovered 34,000 'Minsk' and 'NZ' brand cigarettes with a retail value of €167,000. The cigarettes seized represent a potential loss to the Exchequer of approximately €100,200.
A statement from Revenue said the operation was part of Revenue and HMRC's on-going investigations into an organised crime gang involved in cross border cigarette smuggling and the evasion of excise duties. Investigations are continuing in both jurisdictions and internationally.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.