Revenue’s new mobile x-ray scanner based at Dublin Port will target and confront fiscal fraud, fuel fraud, cash and tobacco smuggling, and drug trafficking, while at the same time facilitating the free flow of legitimate trade.
Acknowledging the “increasingly agile and sophisticated” concealment techniques, however, Revenue chairman Niall Cody describes the new mobile scanner as “the most powerful one currently available on the market and uses imaging technology to analyse vehicles as well as shipping containers”.
The state-of-the-art scanner cost over €1.6m and was part-funded by a grant of €750,000 from OLAF (the European Anti-Fraud Office) under its Hercule III Programme. Accompanied by fellow Board members and Commissioners Liam Irwin and Gerry Harrahill, the chairman expressed the thanks of the Revenue to OLAF for their financial support.
“It will enable Revenue to identify suspicious consignments quickly and efficiently, with minimum impact on legitimate trade,” he noted. Revenue works at a national level in collaboration with An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and the Naval Service. It engages at an international level in ongoing actions aimed at intercepting and preventing drug trafficking, fuel fraud and the flow of smuggled tobacco and cash.
The Revenue Chairman spoke of a drug market that continues to be one of the most profitable areas for organised crime groups operating in the EU, and globally, and said that the illicit tobacco problem is also very much a global one.
In relation to the effectiveness of inter-agency collaboration at national and international levels, Niall Cody referred to Revenue’s joint operation with An Garda Síochána earlier this year that resulted in the seizure of herbal cannabis worth €37.5 million, which had been destined for the Irish market.