Tobacco with a value of approximately €14 million has been seized by customs officers and Gardaí at Drogheda Port.
Officers from Revenue’s Customs Service supported by An Garda Síochána, seized over 32 million cigarettes and 4,500 kgs of water pipe tobacco this morning.
The cargo vessel transporting the cigarettes and tobacco, the MV Shingle, which was loaded in Slovenia and arrived into Drogheda Port via Lisbon, was also seized.
The operation targeted the criminal activities of an international organised crime group headed up by Irish and British nationals based in Europe.
According to Revenue, the seizure is the largest of its kind in Europe so far this year. It represents a potential loss to the Exchequer of nearly €13 million.
“It is the culmination of months of dedicated work and international cooperation involving Revenue authorities and law enforcement agencies across several jurisdictions, including Slovenia, Portugal and Ireland,” Revenue commissioner Liam Irwin said in a statement.