Published Thursday, 20 February 2014
Customs officers carried out searches in south Armagh on Thursday. (© UTV)
Between them, the three plants had the potential to produce 26 million litres of illicit, evading millions in revenue.
Two plants were found during a search of residential properties in the Cullaville area on Thursday carried out by HMRC and PSNI officers.
The third laundering plant was discovered hidden in an agricultural shed nearby.
Over 50 tonnes of toxic waste were also removed.
Pat Curtis, National Oils Coordinator, HMRC, said: "Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, creating significant safety and environmental issues.
"As taxpayers and local ratepayers, not only are we missing out on the stolen tax that ends up in the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying the substantial clean-up and disposal costs.
"It is wrong that honest businesses should be undercut by criminals and those involved in making or selling laundered fuel.
"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."
In a separate incident on Wednesday, three filling stations suspected of selling illicit fuel were raided by HMRC and 2,300 litres of fuel were seized.
HMRC officers tested the fuel in the forecourt tanks and all three stations are believed to be selling illicit fuel. Tests on the fuel seized are ongoing.
© UTV News