Customs in €4m cigarette seizure

CUSTOMS officers and gardai seized a shipment of smuggled cigarettes worth almost €4m after placing surveillance on a lorry.

Operation Cleo resulted in the recovery of 10.59m contraband cigarettes, with a street value of €3.78m and a potential loss to the exchequer of €3.38m.

The haul was described as a consignment of bedroom furniture and concealed in a Lo/Lo maritime container, which arrived at Dublin Port from Egypt on Friday morning.

Customs officers kept close watch on the container until it was loaded onto the truck and trailer and taken to Dundalk where it was intercepted.

Gardai arrested a 32-year-old Irishman for questioning but he was later released without charge. A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The seizure brought the total amount of cigarettes seized by customs so far this year to about 75 million, with a retail value of about €30.5m.

The Retailers Against Smuggling group (RAS) said the weekend seizure would save jobs in the industry.


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