A new mobile x-ray scanner has been unveiled by Revenue as part of its device to detect drugs and contraband entering the country’s ports.
The high-tech scanner cost 2.16 million euros, but it was largely funded by a grant of 1.73 million euros from the European Anti-Fraud Agency (OLAF).
Revenue’s x-ray scanners have been implicated in some of the country’s largest contraband and drug seizures, including the gigantic seizure of half a ton of cocaine in Dublin port last week and the transport of 172 kg of cocaine at Ringaskiddy port, Cork, last February.
The new scanner replaces an old scanner and maintains Revenue’s complement of three scanners.
The new machine, which was first deployed at Rosslare Europort earlier this year, will be used to target tax evasion, fuel fraud and the supply of illicit drugs and tobacco products.
Revenue said it was for the purpose of disrupting the supply chain, seizing illicit goods and prosecuting those responsible.
During the unveiling of the new scanner, the Commissioner of Revenue and Director General of Customs, Gerry Harrahill, thanked OLAF for its financial support in the acquisition of the new scanner.
“Revenue implements customs controls in a way that supports legitimate trade, while effectively managing compliance risks and tackling illegitimate trade,” he said. “At all times, Revenue remains proactive, vigilant and agile in the fight against all forms of contraband. ”
He said Revenue’s strategy to combat smuggling and the underground economy was underpinned by data analysis, intelligence and risk profiling.
“The resulting actions, including the deployment of modern digitization technology, help fight organized criminal activity,” said Mr. Harrahill.
“This new high-energy mobile X-ray container scanner is an important part of our resources and our continued determination to target all forms of the underground economy and illegal activity.”
The Nuctech MT1213DE scanner replaces an older scanner that had reached the end of its operational life.
Revenue said it was selected after a competitive bidding process and is expected to operate until at least 2030.
Its acquisition maintains Revenue’s available x-ray container scanning capacity of three mobile units.
Revenue said they can be deployed at any port or other relevant location, such as warehouses, across the country.