CUSTOMS SEIZURE REWARDS.
An Coiste um Chuntais Phoiblí.
At the meeting of the Committee of Public Accounts on the 15th December, 1960, in connection with the Appropriation Account for the Office of the Revenue Commissioners for 1959-60, I undertook to have a point raised about the payment of customs seizure rewards considered and a note furnished for the information of the Committee.
The question was whether the amount of a reward payable to an Officer of Customs and Excise in respect of a seizure made by him may be affected by the size of the monetary penalty recovered from the offender or by the manner in which the seized goods are disposed of. So far as smuggling on a serious scale is concerned—where the goods are normally retained—the answer is in the negative. The standard scales of rewards based on the value of the seizures are applied irrespective of the size of the penalty (a part of which might possibly be remitted) or of how the goods are disposed of.
In petty cases, e.g., the seizure of undeclared items of wearing apparel found in passengers’ baggage, the release of the seized goods is commonly allowed on payment of a compromise sum to cover the duty involved and a penalty. In such cases, the rewards are related to what the revenue receives, i.e., the amount of the compromise sum.
No reward is payable where the goods have to be returned to the person from whom they were seized because the evidence to support the seizure is held to be insufficient: in other words this type of case is treated as if no seizure had been made at all.
(Signed) S. REAMONN,
16th January, 1961.