Arson attack blaze leads gardai to €21K cigarette haul next door
Gardai discovered a massive haul of over €21,000 worth of cigarettes after an arson attack at an adjacent property.
The bizarre incident happened shortly before 2am yesterday when officers were alerted to the fire at a house which has been previously targeted by local criminals on a number of occasions this year.
The interior of the property in Wexford was completely gutted in the fire which had been started deliberately.
Sources have revealed that when gardai and three fire brigade units arrived at the scene in Enniscorthy, a decision was made to evacuate a number of the neighbouring houses and also to use these properties to attempt to get access to the back of the house that was on fire.
When gardai entered one of these houses, they discovered a massive haul of cigarettes and tobacco which had been locked into a room.
"The cigarettes were seized at around 3am and the occupant of the house was briefly questioned," a source explained.
"The Revenue's Customs Service was notified and it has yet to be established where the tobacco products originated from. There have been no arrests in this case," the source added.
There have also been no arrests in the investigation into the arson attack at a neighbouring house which is being treated as a criminal damage incident.
The same house was the subject of a garda investigation when two shotgun rounds were fired into the front door and upstairs window of a property at Friary Place in Enniscorthy at around 2.20am on Saturday, April 22.
The single, male occupant of the house raised the alarm and gardai arrived a short time later.
The householder (49) is known to gardai and has a number of convictions for minor offences but he was not in the property when it was targeted yesterday.
One line of enquiry by gardai investigating yesterday morning's arson is whether it was carried out by the same people responsible for last April's gun attack.
Separately in three different operations over the last week in Wexford and Dublin, officers from Revenue's Customs Service seized 35,000 cigarettes and 12.5kg of tobacco with a total retail value of over €22,200 and 41 litres of alcohol with a value of over €1,000.
Last week, officers executing a warrant at a private house in Enniscorthy seized 1,940 counterfeit cigarettes and approximately 4kg of tobacco. The cigarette brands included Marlboro, L&M and West and Casa Blanca tobacco.
A Polish male in his forties was questioned.
In an intelligence-led operation last Friday targeting the sale of illegal cigarettes in the Moore Street area of Dublin, officers seized 10,600 cigarettes and 8.5kg of tobacco, while on Saturday they seized 22,460 cigarettes and 41 litres of alcohol in Dublin Port and a vehicle.