CO ARMAGH, Northern Ireland - A cross-border Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) operation in Co. Armagh and Co Louth on Saturday has resulted in the seizure of an astonishing 8 million cigarettes.
The haul is expected to have cost the British government £3 million in lost revenue.
In addition around €100,000 in cash was seized.
The joint operation was carried out by An Garda Sochna and Revenue, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and HM Revenue & Customs.
Three men (aged 34, 37 and 55 years) were arrested during the operation.
Members of An Garda Sochna assisted by Revenue carried out seven searches (a business property and six residential properties) in the area of Carlingford, Co. Louth on Saturday morning.
A number of items were seized during these searches which included:
- Approximately €100,000 of cash
- 2.5 tonnes of raw tabacco product with a value of €1.55 million, which represents a potential loss to the Exchequer of €1.24 million
- Over 1,900kg of hand-rolling tabacco packaged for sale with a value of €1.2 million, which represents a potential loss to the Exchequer of almost €947,500
- Equipment used for the manufacture of tabacco products
- One articulated lorry, one rigid lorry, two trailers and one van were seized
- Mobile fuel-laundering machinery (concealed in the articulated lorry).
A joint statement from the agencies involved said Investigations are ongoing.