Border security in Northern Ireland has been called into question amid reports the province’s ports are being used to smuggle counterfeit goods into the European single market.
The European Union claims several significant alleged smuggling incidences involving electrical and high value goods.
The EU believes it highlights ongoing concerns about the Northern Ireland protocol.
The Press Association (PA) said seizure of goods convinced the EU there needs to be better security arrangements at ports in the country, according to ITV News.
An EU official told PA there is evidence the Irish Sea is now favoured by criminal gangs to get prohibited goods into Europe.
Drugs and weapons have also been seized, it was claimed.
The official told PA: “In March 2021, there was a seizure of undervalued and counterfeit high-value electronic products such as smartphones sent in parcels, plugs were EU type.”
Goods included smartphones – both real and counterfeit – tobacco, cigarettes, weapons, drugs and medicines hidden in parcels.