Seized 3.5 million cigarettes Port in Wexford, IrelandGoogle Images

Customs officers at Rosslare Port in Wexford, Ireland seized 3.5 million cigarettes on Saturday, adding to the 38 million that were found at Dublin Airport on Thursday. Disssident IRA smugglers are believed to be responsible for the huge hauls.

The Irish Independent
reports on the smuggling that has occurred over the past week. Industry sources told the paper  that approximately 20 percent of all cigarette sales in Ireland are now “illicit.”

In Rosslare on Saturday, a Romanian driver using an Irish-based hauling company truck was detained and is now being interviewed about the alleged smuggling .

The 41.5 million cigarettes found in just the past weeklare believed to have a staggering street value of over $20 million.

Fuel laundering remains the core operation for smugglers, with the illegal cigarette trade providing a profitable side income.

A container of cigarettes can be bought and shipped from China for just under $400,000 and can generate turnaround sales of around $6.5 million.