Sniffer dog Bailey helps to smoke out stash of illegal cigarettes and tobacco
A trusty Revenue canine helped sniff out 250,000 illegal cigarettes and a bumper batch of tobacco in a major raid in Dublin.
Twenty-five officers, backed by armed gardai, swooped on five locations on the northside of the city on Wednesday night.
Almost a quarter of a million contraband cigarettes, 160kg of tobacco and a large quantity of cash, in both euro and sterling, were seized in the raids in Glasnevin and Cabra.
Two vehicles, mobile phones, electronic equipment and documents were also confiscated.
Two houses and three lock-up garages were raided. The locations were used as central distribution points for large numbers of street sellers of illicit cigarettes.
Six people were interviewed by officers following the raids and files are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
One of those held is a 38-year-old Dublin man, who is believed to play a key role in the illicit trade in tobacco products.
The cash and contraband were transported to Revenue offices, where the hauls were photographed by staff.
The garages raided were storage hubs for the contraband that is sold on the streets and door to door.
A Revenue spokesperson said: "[The raids were] a series of co-ordinated searches under warrant at locations in the Dublin 7 and 9 areas, in an intelligence-led operation targeting a major Dublin supply and distribution network in the illicit tobacco trade.
"The operation was part of Revenue's ongoing actions to disrupt the illicit tobacco supply chain, seize contraband and prosecute those responsible."
A sniffer dog named Bailey played a central role in the detection of the stashed contraband.
"Bailey is a highly successful young dog and she has taken part in a number of significant finds," said a member of the raid teams.
She is one of 20 detection dogs used by Revenue to detect hidden tobacco, drugs and cash.
The illicit tobacco products were of various brands. They included cigarettes branded L&M, Excellence, Marlboro Gold, Richman and Modeng, while the loose tobacco was branded Flandria, Amber Leaf and The Turner.
The retail value of the contraband is more than €210,000, representing a potential loss to the exchequer of more than €168,000.
Revenue's confidential freephone number to report smuggling is 1800 295 295.