A Dublin businessman jailed over a €1.6 million garlic import duty scam has been granted temporary release from prison.

Paul Begley, 47, from Rathcoole was jailed last year for six years after admitting labelling more than 1,000 tonnes of garlic imported from China as apples, which have a lower tax rate.

The Court of Criminal Appeal ruled in January that the sentence imposed on Begley was excessive and disproportionate.

It reduced his sentence to two years.

Begley ran the country's largest fruit and vegetable company, Begley Brothers Ltd.

He had made huge savings on import tax by having the garlic labelled as apples.

Begley was released from the training unit at Mountjoy Prison this afternoon on a temporary basis.

He will now engage in a community return programme, a scheme of supervised community service offered to low-risk offenders.