The consignment was detained following routine profiling (to identify alcohol products that may be diverted onto the market without payment of the tax due) when it arrived in a foreign-registered truck from Holyhead. Both truck and smuggled beer were seized and investigations are ongoing.
The smuggled consignment represented a potential loss to the Exchequer of more than €52,000 in VAT and Excise Duty.
During 2017, the Revenue Commissioners seized 95,021 litres of illicit alcohol with an estimated value of €910,000 through 1,819 seizures of beer, spirits and wine but the seizures resulted in only one conviction for alcohol smuggling according to Revenue’s Annual Report, which was published in late April.
This compares with a Revenue Commissioners figure of 110,58 litres of smuggled alcohol seized in 2016 worth €890,000 through 1,875 seizures and a 2015 figure of 48,842 litres seized worth €610,000 through 938 seizures.
Last November the Revenue Commissioners uncovered a large-scale counterfeit vodka production plant, processing denatured industrial alcohol. “Vodka is the most commonly counterfeited alcohol and often contains high quantities of poisonous chemicals such as methanol and isopropyl alcohol,” states the report, “We seized 586 litres of finished vodka-type product that was bottled, sealed, labelled and boxed, along with 4,000 litres of raw alcohol product which would produce in the region of 12,000 litres of vodka-type spirits. The illicit alcohol product in this plant represented a potential loss to the Exchequer of approximately €300,000.”