Two Arrests as Police Officers Injured During Customs Raid

Two police officers have been injured, one critically, during a cross border customs operation near Meigh, south Armagh.  Two men have been arrested.  From the RTÉ report

Over the weekend a cargo of smuggled cigarettes arrived from China in Dublin Port.

Watched by customs officers, the cargo was then brought to Dundalk. Earlier today the container was then taken just across the border to warehouses near Meigh in South Armagh.

A number of armed PSNI officers and revenue officials raided the warehouse as the cigarettes were being unloaded.

The driver of one lorry drove through a roller door as he escaped and hit the two PSNI officers, who were outside.

The lorry drove the short distance to the border at high speed.

However, as he was turning the truck into a yard, he lost control. The lorry ended up on its side and now a search is under way on both sides of the border for the driver.

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  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Im not a smoker myself but Im curious as to how 7,500,000 can be sold without anybody seeming to know.
    How many people actually smoke……Id guess around 30%. What percentage of these people know how to obtain dodgy cigarettes.
    Obviously they are sold cheaply……but how much does a pack of 20 cost (presumably they are sold in multiples of 20) . Come to think of it whats the price differential between legal and illegal? (I have absolutely no idea how much cigarettes cost).
    Where are they sold?
    Pubs? car parks in pubs? high street tobacconists?
    Presumably a lot of people who smoke would know how to obtain a dodgy pack (even if they had qualms about actually doing it).
    Presumably the outlets are so well known that there should be no difficulty in the HMRC actually going after the people down at the bottom of the food chain.
    Putting them out of business might be a better option than going after the “big raids”.
    My best wishes to the PSNI officer critically injured.

  • foyle observer

    The container was watched by Irish customs officers yet made it’s way to South Armagh?

    So which agent was responsible for the customs clearance of the goods and why weren’t Irish customs holding the container the minute they saw a 40′ container was entering the country full of cigarettes instead of it getting across a border before action was taken?

    A very confused freight forwarder here…

  • Cormac Mac Art

    I think the clue is in the fact that it was shadowed all the way in what the article calls “a cross border customs operation.” Why not follow it to its intended destination?

    And on behalf of all of us, I wish a speedy recovery to the officers concerned.

  • aquifer

    The percentage of contraband cigarrettes in circulation is huge. I seem to remember a figure of 40% for Scotland, where loyalist paramilitary figures from here were benefitting. When a pack costs a few pennies to produce, this is a lot of missing schools and hospitals.

    Government is afflicted by vanity. It never admits to having effective competitors, effectively licensing criminal gunmen to extort and torture us. If they had made fuel duty the same each side of the border and for all fuels, and sent people buying contraband tobacco to jail, there would be more citizens alive today.

    Thankfully the governments now need the cash.

  • Mr Crowley

    I recently quit smoking but never smoked counterfeit cigarettes when I did; the normal ones are bad enough without the arsenic and other chemicals used to boost the lowgrade tobacco used by the counterfeiters. I smoked benson and hedges which retail at £6.13+ per 20 whereas I have been offered counterfeit cigarettes for as little as £2.50 per 20 if bought in a 10 packet carton of 200. Many people choose to save around £4.00 per 20 but suffer increased health hazards as a result. Cigarettes are poison whether counterfeit or legitimate and state profit from poisonous addiction in the form of tobacco revenue drives the trade in illegal tobacco.

    What most people don’t know is that tobacco cessation therapy, such as the patches that I’m currently on is now free. The best way to counter tobacco smuggling, imo, is to encourage more people to give tobacco up.

  • iluvni

    sounds like a right balls-up

  • Neil

    I know of a gent that goes door to door with fags and dvds. I smoke, but wouldn’t buy the chape wans for the reason mentioned above, sometimes they’ll be foreign Bensons which is ok, but sometimes they’ll be counterfeit fags and those things will hospitalise you quick. Still 7.5m fags is 375,000 packs, quite a few fegs to shift there, take you a few door to door sessions to get rid of them.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I also got an email today which said that an ice cream van carries a stock of the cheap ones.
    I had no idea that there are two kinds…..cheap….and……dangerous counterfeit.
    But again Im surprised that these bottom feeders are not targetted more. Eliminate the small fry and the big smugglers/criminals wont have a market.

  • sdelaneys

    That’s not the way it works and it’s the small dealers who are most often caught while the big money people, operating in hands off fashion, usually get away and make vast fortunes, some of which asset recovery and cab are endeavouring to seize. They can afford to pay a few million, hand over a dozen or so properties and emerge with a fortune which is then clean and legitimate. People would be surprised, for instance, to know who the real owners of many properties and businesses are. By the way, some of the latter, the big operators, are what is known as ‘good republicans’ and there are ‘good loyalists’ in the same circles. We have built a truly wonderful society which has criminality as a core value for a sizeable section of our people. The big operators can employ runners easily because they can afford to pay them. Smuggling is just like any other business and those with the money usually combine to import massive loads, far , far more than yesterdays; this is then split up and sold on down the next link in the chain which in turn sells it on. Enough people are making money that catching a few, or even plenty, of small fry has no effect on the trade. Many people have no problem with smuggled real cigarettes.
    Counterfeit cigarettes are deadly as is the rot gut alcohol which floods the country courtesy of similar , and often the same, people.