Up to €50m worth of cigarettes have been seized in Greenore port in Co Louth from a cargo ship that originated in the Philippines.
A major customs operation is currently under way in the port and at other locations nearby.
Revenue officials seized cargo from the vessel MV Anne Scan during an operation known as 'Samhna'.
Officers kept the vessel under surveillance, as they suspected that a large consignment of contraband cigarettes was concealed within the cargo.
The ship arrived yesterday morning with a cargo said to be animal feed.
When the cargo was discharged, gardaí and customs officials seized the cigarettes and searched the ship.
Revenue officials believe the haul contains more than 120m cigarettes with a retail value of about €50m.
Several people have been arrested at various locations for questioning.
Garda Commissioner, Fachtna Murphy said: 'This is a significant strike against organised crime. The success of the operation illustrates the results and benefits that flow from close interagency cooperation.'
More 150 officers from agencies on both sides of the border participated in the operation.http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1027/cigarettes.html