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Officers crack down on Co Tyrone fuel fraud

Press Release   •   May 30, 2014 15:03 BST

A huckster site and a laundering plant, capable of producing a half a million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading almost £250,000 in lost duty and taxes, have been dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC officers, accompanied by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), searched a business address in the Blackwatertown area of Dungannon yesterday (30 May), where they dismantled the huckster site - an illegal filling station - found to be selling illicit fuel.

In unrelated activity, HMRC and PSNI officers dismantled a laundering plant discovered at a private address in the Fintona area of Co Tyrone.

Pat Curtis, National Oils Co-ordinator, HMRC, said:

“Fuel laundering is a dangerous activity. At the laundering plant, fuel was stored, laundered and sold without any safety precautions, endangering any motorist buying fuel there.

“Motorists may think they are getting a bargain buying illicit fuel, but you have no idea what you’re buying, and you can be sure that you are lining the pockets of criminals. We ask anyone with information about this type of activity to contact us on the Customs’ Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Forecourt pumps, fuel, tanks and equipment were seized during the operations and investigations are continuing.

Notes for editors

1.  Diesel laundering waste is often dumped in the countryside or next to roads, causing pollution to land or waterways. Typically the waste is dumped in agricultural areas or forests, chosen for their remoteness.

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.  Photographs of the huckster site 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.