05 Jul 2022

Thousands of intercepted cigarettes being smuggled to Laois as 'air filters'

Other tobacco product also seized at Dublin Airport purported to be dog food

Cigarettes on their way to Laois were being smuggled to destinations around Ireland were hidden in steel cases described as air filters.

Customs Officers attached to the Revenue Commissioners made these and a number of other seizures of cigarettes worth more than €150,000 on the black market in Ireland.

A statement from the Revenue Service said officers at Dublin Airport seized almost 187,000 cigarettes and 38.5kgs of tobacco arising from a number of searches. Some of the tobacco was found in cans purporting to be pet food.

It said all seizures were made as a result of routine profiling and are detailed below:

  • Almost 97,000 cigarettes, branded ‘Winston’ and ‘Minsk’, were discovered concealed in steel cases described as ‘air filters’. The air cargo consignments had arrived into the State from Italy and were destined for consignees in counties Navan, Laois, and Carlow. 
  • 31kgs of raw tobacco concealed inside emptied and resealed tins of ‘cat food’ and ‘dog food’. The smuggled tobacco arrived into the State from Poland and Spain and were destined for consignees in counties Dublin and Monaghan.
  • 7.5kgs of ‘Amber Leaf’ roll your own tobacco, discovered in the luggage of a passenger arriving from Alicante, Spain.
    90,000 cigarettes, branded ‘Benson & Hedges’ and ‘L&M’, discovered in the luggage of passengers arriving from Poland and Nigeria.
  • The illegal cigarettes and tobacco had a combined retail value of over €151,000, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of almost €122,000.

Investigations are ongoing.

Revenue added that tese seizures are part of Revenue's ongoing operations targeting the importation of illegal cigarettes and tobacco products. If businesses, or members of the public, have any information regarding smuggling, they can contact Revenue in confidence on Confidential Phone Number 1800 295 295.

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