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Arrest in Co Tyrone fuel fraud investigation

Press release   •   Mar 20, 2015 17:01 GMT

A 43-year-old man has been arrested and a diesel laundering plant dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) this morning.

HMRC officers, accompanied by the Police Service of Northern Ireland searched private premises in the Ardboe area, where the laundering plant capable of producing over one million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading over £700,000 in lost duty and taxes was uncovered in a shed. A transit van and nearly four tonnes of toxic waste – the by-product of the laundering process – were removed from the site.

Mike Parkinson, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:

“Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, leading to significant safety and environmental issues. As taxpayers and local ratepayers, not only are we missing out on the stolen tax that ends up the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying the substantial clean-up and disposal costs.

“Buying illicit fuel funds crime and supports and encourages these dangerous activities. I would urge anyone with information on fuel misuse in their area to contact our free telephone hotline on 0800 59 5000 and contribute to the fight against this criminality.”

The man is currently being interviewed by HMRC. Investigations are on-going.

Notes for editors

  1. Diesel laundering waste is often dumped indiscriminately in the countryside or next to the road with no care for the pollution it can cause to land or waterways. Typically the waste is dumped in agricultural areas or forests, chosen for their remoteness to avoid detection.
  2. Laundered fuel is red (or green) diesel, which has been filtered through chemicals or acids to remove the Government marker. The chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and damage fuel pumps in diesel cars.
  3. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.