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Ports fail to beat drugs.

Byline: ALLISON BRAY

DRUGS are getting in to Ireland because ports are understaffed and don't have the right equipment, it was revealed yesterday.

The Public Service Executive Union claimed a lack of government funding has led to busy ports being denied basic detection equipment.

And a third of its anti-smuggling jobs remain unfilled.

Despite the use of highly sophisticated drug-running scams by drug lords, port officials are refused permission to buy equipment like mobile scanners and vehicle number plate readers.

The union added its Customs and Excise officers in Dublin seized more than 12 tonnes of cannabis worth more than pounds 45million this year alone despite not having adequate equipment to haul in more.

They also smashed an illegal cigarette smuggling ring after seizing 25million cigarettes worth more than pounds 5million.

But a Revenue Commissioners spokesman said the large seizures of drugs and cigarettes at ports show that money is being invested.

He added that modern scanning devices will soon be bought to help combat smuggling operations.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2001
Words:167
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