A laundering plant capable of producing 3.6 million litres of illicit fuel and evading around £2.5 million in taxes a year has been dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
HMRC officers searched a private address in the Omagh area of County Tyrone last Friday where the laundering plant was discovered hidden in a shed. Officers removed over four tonnes of toxic waste, the by-product of the laundering process, nearly 3,000 litres of illicit fuel, pumps and equipment during the operation.
Pat Curtis, National Oils Coordinator, 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.”
A man is helping HMRC with its enquiries and investigations are continuing.
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. 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.