Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (88)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin


88. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Finance if it is the case that the Revenue Commissioners purchased new smuggling detection equipment, including a van scanner, recently; the funding stream used for the purchase of this equipment; if funding was provided by a group (details provided); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45555/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners, who are responsible for the collection of taxes and duties and for tackling the smuggling of dutiable and prohibited goods that, following a tender process, a Scan Van was acquired by Revenue in July 2012. The Scan Van is a specialist vehicle incorporating an x-ray facility, radiation detection facilities and ionscan technology. It is used for monitoring baggage and cargo at airports and ports for narcotics, cigarettes, radioactive materials and other contraband. It also allows Revenue enforcement officers to perform controls at locations, such as warehouses and courier depots, where X-ray technology was not previously available.

I am advised also that three modern replacement baggage x-ray scanners have also been purchased in recent months for use at Dublin Airport, Shannon Airport and Rosslare Ferryport respectively.

The acquisition of the Scan Van and other new baggage scanners was funded by Revenue with assistance from the European Union Hercules Programmes. The additional and replacement equipment will complement the two Revenue mobile X-ray container scanning systems, which are based at Dublin Port and Rosslare Ferry Port, both of which are available for deployment on a risk assessment basis, at various locations throughout the country.