Tonnes of toxic waste found in Co Armagh

Published Wednesday, 30 January 2013
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Over 14 tonnes of toxic waste have been removed from an industrial unit in Co Armagh after HM Revenue and Customs shut down a diesel laundering plant.

Tonnes of toxic waste found in Co Armagh
Tank at the diesel laundering plant (© HM Revenue & Customs)

The plant, found in the Jonesborough area, was capable of producing 25 million litres of illicit fuel, evading over £18m in taxes and duty a year.

On Wednesday morning, while conducting searches, revenue officers discovered large underground tanks being used to launder green diesel.

A 40ft tanker, large quantities of the illicit fuel, a quantity of bleaching earth - used to launder the diesel - and pumps and equipment were removed from the site.

John Whiting, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said laundering taking place underground poses a real risk of contamination in the surrounding countryside.

"Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, which causes significant environmental and safety risks.

"Buying illicit fuel funds crime and supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities. We are all paying the substantial cleanup and disposal costs, so the only winners are the criminals," he added.

"We are working in partnership with our colleagues in the Organised Crime Task Force and I would urge anyone with information on fuel misuse in their area to contact our free telephone hotline - 0800 59 5000 - and contribute to the fight against this criminality."

David Ford, Justice Minister and Chair of the Organised Crime Task Force, accompanied HMRC officers during the operation.

"I commend HMRC and PSNI officers on discovering this underground fuel laundering plant. This success shows the important role that the OCTF has in defeating crime and protecting our community," he said.

"It is important that operations like this are detected and shut down."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Martin in Forkhill wrote (726 days ago):
I am so very angry at this desperate activity, creating all the toxic sludge and fuel that damages cars, not to mention lining the pockets of dodgy individuals. So since no one is ever held accountable I propose that ALL sheds where illegal laundering of fuel is being carried out a court order is obtained to DEMOLISH that property. That will automatically be a massive disincentive to launder fuel. Please join my little campaign.
thomas girvan in Belfast wrote (727 days ago):
Why do we not see the people who run these plants, in court and sent to prison for long periods? It's the only way it will be stopped.
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