Drug and tobacco smuggling

International co-operation

The international dimension to drug-trafficking requires the targeted use of resources and techniques to deal with this trans-national crime.

The European Union (EU) Drugs Strategy (2013-2020) focuses on reducing money laundering, precursor chemical diversion (for the manufacture of illegal drugs) and effective co-operation between customs, police and prosecuting authorities. Revenue continues to play its part by combating international drug-trafficking and associated activities, and by co-operating with the Criminal Assets Bureau, which includes Revenue officials.

International Liaison Network – Revenue officers assigned abroad

Five Revenue officers are currently assigned abroad and are directly involved in the international exchange of information and intelligence. They work with our Customs Division and with our Investigations and Prosecutions Division:

  • two officers are assigned to the Permanent Representation in Brussels
  • one officer (Customs Attaché) is assigned to the Irish Embassy in London
  • one officer is assigned to Europol headquarters in The Hague.
  • one officer is assigned to the Maritime Analysis Operations Centre Narcotics (MAOC-N), Lisbon (and also acts as the Customs Liaison Officer for Portugal, Spain and Morocco).

Information sharing

Revenue officers maintain contact with customs and other enforcement agencies throughout the world by means of international conventions and the Customs Information System. This was established to facilitate quick and effective exchanges of information between EU member States regarding suspect movements of people and goods.

Revenue is a member of the MAR-INFO (Maritime Information) Group, comprising over 20 European countries. This group allows the transfer of information on the movement of suspect containers, ships and yachts.

Revenue is also a member of the Maritime Analysis Operation Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N) which focuses on reducing the threat of cocaine trafficking into the EU.

Revenue, with assistance from the Irish Naval Service, also engages in international maritime operations. These operations identify, monitor and intercept vessels suspected of drug smuggling.

Ireland is a signatory to the Europol Convention which assists Member States in combating organised crime within the EU. A Revenue officer is assigned as a member of the Europol National Unit at Garda headquarters.

Next: Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB)