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MV Shingle leaving Drogheda Port under armed escort. <br />
Picture Fran Caffrey www.newsfile.ie<br />
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Revenue seizes over 32m cigarettes in Drogheda Port, the largest seizure in Europe to date this year<br />
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In an intelligence-led operation, officers from Revenue’s Customs Service supported by An Garda Síochána, seized over 32m cigarettes and 4,500 kgs of water pipe tobacco with a total retail value of approximately €14m* at Drogheda Port this morning (24/06/14).<br />
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The operation, resulting in the largest seizure of cigarettes in Europe to date this year, targeted the criminal activities of an international organised crime group headed up by Irish and UK nationals and based in Europe. The cargo vessel transporting the cigarettes and tobacco, the MV Shingle, which was loaded in Slovenia and arrived into Drogheda Port via Lisbon, was also seized.<br />
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Follow up search of premises are underway and investigations are continuing both nationally and internationally.<br />
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Speaking about the seizure, Revenue Commissioner Liam Irwin said:<br />
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“This seizure is significant in the fight against those engaged in the illicit cigarette and tobacco market. It is the culmination of months of dedicated work and international cooperation involving Revenue authorities and law enforcement agencies across several jurisdictions, including Slovenia, Portugal and Ireland.<br />
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The illicit cigarette market represents a very serious fraud on the Exchequer as well as undermining health policy and funding organised crime and today’s seizure represents a major blow to those involved in this criminal activity.”. <br />
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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 free phone number 1800 295 295.<br />
Picture:  Fran Caffrey www.newsfile.ie
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