herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Man facing trial over 10 million cigs haul claims

A man is to face trial accused of unlawfully importing 10 million cigarettes into Ireland.

The alleged haul cost the State €4m in lost revenue, a judge was told.

Unemployed Graham Costigan (40) of Santry Court, Dublin has been charged with attempting to evade excise duty at Dublin Port on September 16 last year.

The offence can, on conviction, result in a maximum five-year sentence.

He had been detained for questioning previously but was charged yesterday and appeared before Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court.

Garda Paul Kane told Judge Halpin that the DPP has directed trial on indictment, meaning the accused is to be tried in the Circuit Court. There was no objection to bail.

However, Gda Kane said that he was seeking an independent surety to stand bail due to the alleged amount involved in the case.

ENTERPRISE

He said it was alleged the accused was part of an enterprise to "import 10 million cigarettes into the country in 2013".

He also claimed that this caused, "a net loss of €4m to the state".

Defence solicitor Tracy Horan asked the court not to require an independent bail-person saying that her client had been detained by gardai for questioning last December.

It has taken some time to prepare the case file and gardai had no difficulty in finding Mr Costigan to charge him.

Judge Halpin granted bail in Mr Costigan's own bond of €200 and ordered him to appear again in January when he is to be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

The judge ordered that Mr Costigan, who has not yet entered a plea and remained silent during the hearing, to sign on three times a week at Coolock Garda station.

Legal aid was also granted to the defendant who has been out of work since March.

hnews@herald.ie

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