Customs officers have scored a major victory in the battle against smugglers after seizing 50 million cigarettes in 10 months.
The Irish Mirror reports Revenue officers made 5,025 separate swoops between January and the end of October.
They also impounded 9,560kgs of tobacco in 867 operations.
The record haul makes 2014 one of the most successful to date in the war on counterfeit tobacco.
While these smuggled cigarettes would have cost the Exchequer tens of millions of euro they’re also more dangerous for smokers’ health.
And with the huge crackdown, Customs officers will be keeping up the pressure in 2015 to stub out the tobacco black market.
A Revenue spokeswoman told the Irish Mirror: “To the end of October, more than 50 million cigarettes were seized in 5,025 separate seizures while 9,560 kilogrammes of tobacco were seized in 867 seizures.
“This includes a major seizure in Drogheda in June in which officers, supported by An Garda Siochana, seized more than 32 million cigarettes and 4,500kg of water pipe tobacco.
“Combatting the illegal tobacco trade is, and will continue to be, a high priority for Revenue.
“Our work against this illegal activity includes a range of measures designed to identify and target those engaged in the supply or sale of illicit products, with a view to seizing them and prosecuting those responsible.”
Customs officials use tactics including risk analysis, profiling, intelligence and screening of cargo, vehicles, baggage and postal packages.
They also carry out random checks at retail outlets, markets and commercial shops.
The spokeswoman said: “This includes analysis of the nature and extent of the problem, developing and sharing intelligence on a national, EU and international basis.
“It also includes use of analytics and detection technologies and ensures optimum deployment of resources at points of importation.
“Revenue co-operates extensively with An Garda Siochana in combating the illicit trade, and relevant agencies in the State also work closely with their counterparts in the North, through a cross-border group on tobacco enforcement, to target organised crime groups responsible for a large proportion of the illegal tobacco market.
“In addition, cooperation takes place with other revenue administrations and with the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, in the on-going programmes at international level.”
Last week, Last week, routine profiling helped customs officers seize 600,000 cigarettes at Dublin Port with a retail value of €304,000. Source: Irish Mirror