A total of 45 vehicles were seized at VRT checkpoints in Inishowen and Donegal over two days last week.
Customs officers undertook a blitz at 11 locations around the county on Thursday and Friday, but a spokesperson for the Revenue Press Office said that for “operational reasons” they could not confirm their exact locations.
The ‘Journal’ understands that checkpoints in Inishowen included those located close to the border in Muff, Quigley’s Point, Lisfannon and Burt.
A spokeperson added that for “operational reasons” they also could not confirm a breakdown of seizures by location and checkpoint or the number of warnings issued.
They did confirm that there were five Marked Mineral Oil detections. There were reports on social media that a motorist was accompanied from a checkpoint in Muff to a nearby cash point to obtain money to ensure the release of his vehicle. While they also did not comment directly on this, the spokesperson said: “Where vehicles are seized as liable to forfeiture, they can, in some circumstances, be released on payment of a compromise penalty. The offender may be in a position to pay the penalty at the time; alternatively, the offender may contact somebody to bring the compromise penalty sum to the checkpoint. In certain circumstances, at the request of the offender and if operationally possible, a Revenue officer may transport the person to the nearest cashpoint, so that they can secure the penalty amount and release of the seized vehicle. If the compromise penalty is not paid, the vehicle is seized and removed to a secure compound.”
They added that “voluntary compliance” with vehicle registration and taxation requirements is “actively encouraged” by the Revenue Commissioners and the use of checkpoints or enforcement is primarily pursued to seek prompt registration and payment of VRT in respect of vehicles brought permanently into the State.”