Arrests over illegal fuel plant

Published Friday, 24 January 2014
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Two men from Co Armagh have been arrested by customs officials who seized a number of vehicles at an illegal laundering plant.

Arrests over illegal fuel plant
Customs officials and police attended the scene on Thursday. (© HMRC)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers and the police searched industrial premises in the Newtownhamilton area on Thursday. Pumps, equipment and 27,000 litres of illicit fuel were removed from the site.

The plant was capable of producing over 18 million litres of illicit fuel and evading around £12million in taxes annually.

A flat bed lorry with a concealed tank, believed to have been used to transport illegal fuel, and a number of fuel tankers were seized during the operation.

Both men were questioned by HMRC and have been released on bail. Investigations are ongoing.

John Whiting, Assistant Director, HMRC, said: "Our activity yesterday has stopped a large amount of illicit fuel entering the legitimate market, preventing further revenue loss and helping legitimate traders fight unfair competition. It is wrong that honest businesses should be undercut by criminals and those involved in making or selling laundered fuel. This is organised criminality.

"Buying illicit fuel not only funds crime, it supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities. If anyone has information about fuel fraud we would encourage them to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000."

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Paul Baxter in Dromore wrote (279 days ago):
have to agree totally with the other comments listed. Use only genuine diesel. It is cheaper in the long run illicit diesel will wreck your engine. If you have waranty on your vehicle and something goes wrong with the engine the first thing the garage does is test your diesel. If it is not genuine the warranty will be nul and void.
Peter in tandragee wrote (279 days ago):
I once bought some cheap diesel for my car with the results being a charge of 790 pounds to have my engine fixed.so cheap fuel is not the way to go.these scum need lengthly jail terms for their illegal carry on..
Nemo in Downpatrick wrote (280 days ago):
Honest businesses only get about 4p per ltr that the public buy. The criminals are the government that slap on enormous taxes that Joe Bloggs has to pay just to get to work. They're forcing people into a corner and of course ppl are gonna find alternatives.
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (280 days ago):
Fuel prices are far too high and the tax on fuel needs cut by at least 50% The government and customs cause these problems by over taxation making it easy for people to make large sums of money. All that said the illegal fuel is dirty. Stick to the Ultimate and your engine esp your injectors will last longer.
Steve in County Down wrote (281 days ago):
If diesel had a lot less duty on it and was sold at a fair price in the UK fuel laundering would not exist. The Government are victims of their own greed.
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