Belfast Telegraph

Co Louth man goes on trial for cigarette smuggling in Northern Ireland

BY MICHAEL DONNELLY

A Co Louth man has gone on trial accused of smuggling more than one million illicit cigarettes into Northern Ireland.

A Craigavon Crown Court jury heard that a police armed response unit stopped 62-year-old Patrick Corrigan in July last year on the A1 road near Hillsborough, Co Down.

During a search of the vehicle armed officers found a large quantity of contraband cigarettes.

Corrigan, of Commons Road, Dromiskin, outside Dundalk, denies a single charge of being knowingly concerned in the evasion of £230,000 of excise duty on the cigarettes.

Prosecution lawyer Connor Maguire also revealed that the search of Corrigan's white Mercedes Sprinter van was part of a planned operation.

Mr Corrigan was described as being "very nervous and fidgety" when questioned by police at the scene.

The jury heard that when Corrigan was brought into Lisburn police station, he consistently refused to answer any questions about the van and its contents.

The trial continues.

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