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Yesterday's seizure included cigarettes marked with the 'Palace' brand, like this packet seized by Customs in 2009 Niall Carson/PA Wire

Customs seize over six million smuggled cigarettes

Three men being questioned over the seizure of €2.7m worth of cigarettes in Co Louth.

OVER SIX MILLION cigarettes, declared to customs as “packaging material”, were seized in Co Louth yesterday evening.

A Revenue Customs Service operation which spanned two days followed the movements of a container which arrived at Dublin port from Belgium yesterday. The 6.4 million cigarettes seized were marked as ‘Palace’ and ‘Capital’ brands. Customs and gardai seized them at a premises in Collon, Co Louth and it is estimated that they would have been worth €2.7m if sold. That constituted a potential loss of €2.1m in tax to the Exchequer.

Three men, one with an address in Dublin and two with addresses in Co Louth, have been arrested. They are still being held at Dundalk Garda station. Two commercial vehicles and a curtain-sided trailer were also seized.

Yesterday evening’s seizure brings the number of cigarettes seized in the State this year to 70 million – with a street value of around €24m.

Revenue have a confidential freephone number – 1800 295 295 – for anyone who has information on the smuggling or sale of illegal cigarettes.

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