LONDON: Revenue officials continued their crackdown on the black market with seizures of oil, cash and cigarettes in a number of operations in North Louth.
In a joint operation with their colleagues in the North’s customs, HMRC, officers from the Revenue, backed up by Gardai, seized around 581,000 smuggled cigarettes with an estimated retail value of €278,880 and potential loss to the exchequer of €234,400.
About 26,000 litres of mineral oil were also seized for suspected licensing offences and approximately €60,000 of cash was seized under proceeds of crime legislation. Two vehicles were also impounded.
Officers searched a number of premises, under warrant, along the border in both North Louth and South Armagh areas.
Three premises in the Ballywwbinaby and Castleroche areas were searched by officers from Revenue’s Customs Service, helped by one of their tobacco and cash detection dogs.
Searches carried out by HMRC in the South Armagh area resulted in the seizure of documents, computers and telephones.
In a statement, the Revenue said: ‘ These seizures are part of Revenue and HMRC’s on-going investigations into the organised crime gangs involved in cross border smuggling and the evasion of excise duties. Investigations are continuing in both jurisdictions and internationally’.
In an separate operation, Revenue officers seized a mobile oil laundering unit at Kilcurry, last Monday week, May 26, which was uncovered during searches by Gardai in relation to a bomb that was found at the church the previous evening.
The equipment, concealed in a cow trailer, included a filtration system, pump and a bleaching agent mixing container which is transported by the trailer to different sites to carry out oil laundering activity. This unit was capable of processing 20,000 litres per operation.
A Revenue spokesperson said: ‘Revenue would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists and the public that they should be aware of the risks posed to their vehicles by using laundered fuel. It also takes much needed funds from the exchequer; hurts legitimate trade and is of course funding criminal activity.