The New Custom House in Dublin Port, Ireland, has commissioned a new, ‘state of the art’, mobile x-ray scanner costing US$1.86 million and part-funded by a grant of $837,000 from OLAF, the European Anti-Fraud Agency.
The new scanner will target and confront shadow economy activity, including fiscal fraud, fuel fraud, cash and tobacco smuggling, and drug trafficking, while at the same time facilitating the free flow of legitimate trade.
Acknowledging “increasingly agile and sophisticated” concealment techniques, the Revenue Chairman for Irish tax and customs, Niall Cody, said that the new mobile scanner is the most powerful currently available on the market and uses imaging technology to analyse vehicles as well as shipping containers.
Cody said that it will enable Revenue “to identify suspicious consignments quickly and efficiently, with minimum impact on legitimate trade”.
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 European Union, and globally, and said that the illicit tobacco problem is also very much a global one.
Referring to the effectiveness of inter-agency collaboration at national and international levels, Cody referred to Revenue’s joint operation with An Garda Síochána, the police force of Ireland, earlier this year.
The collaboration resulted in the seizure of herbal cannabis worth $41.8 million that had been destined for the Irish market.
Revenue’s strategy is to target fiscal fraud, fuel fraud, and the supply of illicit drugs and tobacco products, with a view to disrupting the supply chain, seizing the illicit products and prosecuting those responsible.
Investment into scanners has also been reported by Smiths Detection after it received a contribution to develop state-of-the-art technology to scan containers for bombs under an EU-funded R&D project.