Kehoe claims credit for release of 'detained' Wexford lorry
Minister Paul Kehoe says that his personal intervention led to the release of a Wexford-registered freight lorry seized by the British Border Force in Dover two months ago.
The Fine Gael deputy said he made direct contact with British Ambassador Dominic Chilcott 'requesting intervention in this matter because, despite the company's cooperation with the UK Border Force, the truck had still not been released'.
Minister Kehoe said the truck and trailer had now been returned to its owners Baki GLS, which is based at Kilrane Business Park.
He said that following his request to the British Ambassador, the diplomat assiged a member of his staff to deal directly with this matter and over the intervening weeks and 'following numerous communications to the British Embassy and UK Border Forces from my office we have finally reached a satisfactory outcome'.
The truck was seized by the National Post Seizure Unit of the UK Border Force in Dover on March 11, suspected of carrying 'contraband', however, there was no suggestion that anyone within the Wexford company was aware of what was found, details of which have not been released.
Other pallets of cargo on the lorry and trailer were released to their destinations, however, the UK Border Force detained one pallet and held on to the vehicle.
The Freight Transport Association of Ireland said the detention of the rig amounted to 'victim blaming'.
Minister Kehoe said Baku GLS cooperated fully with the UK Border Force providing all information relevant to the case with no resolution.
'This seizure and retention of the truck has had a severe impact on the Wexford based company and it was imperative to secure release of the vehicle as expediently as possible.
'I am delighted to have been instrumental in the release of the truck, but there are ongoing issues that need to be resolved. I am continuing to work with Baku GLS and the British authorities towards resolution,' he said.
Last week, Enniscorthy Fianna Fail Deputy James Browne said he had rererred the issue of the detained truck to the Department of Foreign Affairs, asking them to intercede, a request that was passed on to the Department of Transport.
Michael Doyle, the general manager of Baku GLS, was asked to comment, but did not respond.