British-Irish cooperation in £110m cigarettes haul

British-Irish cooperation in £110m cigarettes haul

BRITISH customs assisted the police forces in Ireland in a suspected £110 million tobacco haul.

Addresses in counties Armagh, Down, Dublin, Louth and Tyrone were searched, resulting in the massive find.

Assisted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officers searched nine addresses in the North of Ireland on Tuesday.

At a County Tyrone address, a tobacco processing plant was discovered along with one million cigarettes – a total revenue loss of £250,000.

Three men – aged in their 20s and 30s – were arrested at the scene.

In Co Down, a 52-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman were arrested following the discovery of £20,000.

The biggest haul in the North of Ireland was in Co Armagh, where officers discovered 12 tonnes of unprocessed tobacco, worth an estimated £2 million, along with one million cigarettes worth £250,000.

Five were arrested in this discovery and released on bail.

Investigations are ongoing in the North of Ireland into the case of fraud.

Meanwhile, as part of a cross border cooperation, Irish Revenue’s Custom Services officers, assisted by Gardaí, carried out searches in counties Louth and Dublin.

These searches resulted in a 300,000 cigarette haul, worth approximately €100,000 in lost revenue.

A spokesperson for Irish Revenue’s Custom Service said; “These seizures are part of Revenue and HRMC’s ongoing investigation into an organised crime gang involved in cross-border cigarette smuggling.”

Investigations continue on both sides of the border and internationally.