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Smuggled fuel lorry seized in Dumbarton

Press release   •   Aug 29, 2013 15:37 BST

A lorry carrying around 26,000 litres of fuel, suspected of having been smuggled into Scotland from Poland, has been seized by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC officers searched the lorry and discovered the fuel in 26 plastic tanks after it was stopped by officers from Police Scotland at an industrial estate in Dumbarton. The estimated revenue loss on the fuel, seized on Saturday (24 August), is £20,000.

Pat Curtis, Specialist Investigations National Oils lead for HMRC, said:

“Those who smuggle flammable fuel in vehicles not designed for its safe transport show a complete disregard for the safety of other ferry passengers and motorists. Illicit fuel is being sold at reduced prices and motorists may think they are getting a good deal because it is cheaper. I would caution them to think again as the true cost is far from a bargain and encourages activity that puts other road users at risk. 

“We are working in partnership with the Scottish Organised Crime Task Force (SOCTF) and this success shows the important role that cooperation has in defeating crime and protecting our community.”

A 51-year-old man was interviewed in connection with the seizure and subsequently released. Investigations are continuing.

Notes to editors

1. The illicit market share for oils in Great Britain for 2010-11 was estimated at £150 million.

2. Anyone with information on fuel misuse can contact HMRC’s free telephone hotline - 0800 59 5000.

3. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk

4. Pictures of the seizure are available on HMRC’s Flickr channel

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.