Trio arrested over illegal fuel stations

Published Thursday, 22 November 2012
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Two men and one woman have been arrested after two illegal filling stations were dismantled in Belfast and Lurgan, Co Armagh by customs officials.

Trio arrested over illegal fuel stations
HMRC, and the PSNI, made the arrests on Thursday. (© Getty)

Around 2,200 litres of illicit fuel, forecourt pumps and equipment seized were also confiscated.

Three premises in Belfast were searched by officers from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the PSNI on Thursday. A computer, documents and business records were seized.

HMRC are questioning those arrested, who are all from Belfast.

John Whiting, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation with HMRC, said: "The huckster sites we dismantled today were operating at an unfair advantage over legitimate filling stations by selling illegal fuel at a reduced rate.

"It is wrong that honest businesses should be undercut by criminals and we are targeting those individuals and groups doing most economic harm in our communities.

"We continue to work closely with our colleagues in the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF) to stop the damage this criminal activity causes.

"We would encourage anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to fuel fraud to contact our Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000."

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a Co Tyrone man has been arrested following the discovery of a diesel laundering plant in Coalisland.

The plant, hidden in a shed at a private address, was capable of producing 1.4 million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading almost £950,000 in lost revenue.

Over two tonnes of toxic waste, 3,000 litres of illicit fuel, pumps and equipment were also removed from the site.

The man has been released pending further enquiries.

© UTV News
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