Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (206)

Michael McGrath

Question:

206. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of persons prosecuted for cigarette and-or tobacco smuggling in 2018 and to date in 2019; the additional resources and equipment being provided to the Revenue Commissioners to tackle the issue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31166/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that the number of persons prosecuted for cigarette and tobacco smuggling in 2018 and to date in 2019 is set out in the following table. The number of persons prosecuted for illegal selling of unstamped cigarette and tobacco products is also included.

2018 - 2019 (YTD end June)

 

Indictable

Summary

Indictable

Summary

Smuggling

3

16

1

4

Selling   unstamped products

3

56

0

31

Total

6

72

1

35

Revenue currently has 20 Detector Dog teams trained to detect tobacco, drugs and cash. One of the dogs is trained in food detection and operates on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Revenue also has three mobile x-ray scanners, a ‘backscatter van’ scanner, and a specialist vehicle that contains both x-ray and radiation detection technology. All the scanners are mobile and can be deployed to smuggling detection operations at both frontier and non-frontier locations. The ‘backscatter van’ scanner is Revenue’s most recent acquisition, which was delivered in December 2018. In addition, Revenue deploys baggage and parcel scanners at ports, airports, mail-centres and other locations throughout the State as required.

Revenue has confirmed to me that it continually reviews its overall detection capability having regard to evolving risk, developments in technology and the obsolescence of existing equipment.