I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that EU funding for equipment was provided under the OLAF Hercule II programme. This funding is for action to combat fraud affecting the EU’s financial interests, including cigarette smuggling and counterfeiting. Revenue received EU funding between 2009 and 2012 for the purchase of an X-Ray Container Scanner, a Tobacco Dog, a Mobile X-Ray Scanner Van and 3 Baggage X Ray scanners.
The X-Ray Container Scanner (2009) cost €1.49m. Revenue received EU funding towards this purchase of €375,000 in 2009 and €326,094 in 2010.
The Tobacco Dog (2012) cost €39,000. Revenue received a first payment of EU funding of €9,984 in 2012 towards this purchase.
The Mobile X-Ray Van (2012) cost €238,189. Revenue received a first payment of EU funding of €47,500 in 2012 towards this purchase.
The 3 Baggage X-Ray Scanners have not yet been purchased, however, in 2012 Revenue received a first payment of €22,500 towards their purchase.
The use of enforcement equipment such as mobile x-ray scanners, other detection technologies and dogs are an important part of a multi-faceted strategy employed by Revenue to tackle smuggling.