A diesel laundering plant capable of producing over 22 million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading almost £14m in revenue, has been dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Friday (16 May).
HMRC officers, accompanied by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, searched an isolated farm building in the Jonesborough area where they uncovered the laundering plant. During the operation officers removed over 26 tonnes of toxic waste – the by-product of the laundering process – and 700 litres of illicit fuel, as well as a number of vehicles, pumps and equipment.
Pat Curtis, National Oils Co-ordinator, HMRC, said:
“Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, involving 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.
“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.”
Investigations are continuing.
Notes for editors
1. 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.
2. Photographs are available at HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
4. Follow HMRC on Twitter at @hmrcgovuk
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.