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Revenue Commissioners. (2021) Revenue Commissioners annual report 2020. Dublin: Revenue Commissioners.

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The report reflects an unprecedented year for Revenue. Notwithstanding the challenges and impacts presented by a global pandemic, Revenue continued its critical work of collecting taxes and duties which underpin the Government’s ability to fund and support vital public services. During 2020, we continued our broad range of interventions targeting fraud, illicit trade, smuggling and organised crime. We seized 4,621kgs of drugs with an estimated street value of over €44.8 million. Additionally, we made 4,436 seizures of illicit tobacco products, valued at over €37 million, seized 764,174 litres of illicit alcohol valued at €4.2 million and seized 501 vehicles. 

We have primary responsibility for the prevention, detection, interception and seizure of controlled drugs intended to be smuggled or illegally imported into, or exported from, the State. Our drugs strategy supports Ireland’s national drugs strategy Reducing Harm, supporting recovery: A health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017 – 2025. We deploy a risk-based approach to identifying key players within the various strands of the illicit drugs supply chain, and initiate a range of measures and interventions, including multi-agency operations to dismantle core supply chains. This risk-based approach includes developing and utilising intelligence in conjunction with our national and international law enforcement partners. 

We work closely with An Garda Síochána, particularly the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, in joint investigations and operations. During 2020, we participated in 60 joint controlled deliveries with An Garda Síochána which resulted in 40 individuals being arrested and the cases being submitted to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). We also work closely with the Health Products Regulatory Authority, the Irish Naval Service, and international bodies such as the Maritime Analysis Operations Centre-Narcotics (MAOC-N) Lisbon, Europol, Interpol, and World Customs Organisation and law enforcement agencies in other countries. During 2020, we made over 15,700 seizures amounting to 4,621 kgs of drugs with an estimated value of almost €45 million (Table 16 of report, p.90).

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