Almost 30 tonnes of toxic waste have been recovered after the discovery of a diesel laundering plant in South Armagh by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) yesterday (Wednesday).
Officers from HMRC, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) discovered the laundering plant, capable of producing 7.2 million litres of illicit fuel a year and evading £4.7 million in taxes and duty, hidden in an industrial unit at a private address in Meigh.
John Whiting, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“The toxic waste uncovered during this operation poses a real threat to the environment and costs thousands of pounds to dispose of. 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 paying these clean-up and disposal costs.
“Buying illicit fuel funds crime and supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities. The only winners are the criminals. 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.”
Pumps and equipment were removed during the operation and investigations are continuing.
Notes for editors
1. Diesel laundering waste is often dumped in the countryside or next to roads. 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 laundering plant are available on HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/photos/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.