Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Illegal fuel laundering plant uncovered in Co Tyrone

The illegal fuel plant was discovered after searches in the Mountfield area of Omagh on Tuesday
The illegal fuel plant was discovered after searches in the Mountfield area of Omagh on Tuesday

An illegal filling station and fuel laundering plant have been uncovered in Co Tyrone.

Both were discovered following searches in the Mountfield area of Omagh on Tuesday - carried out by officers from HMRC and PSNI.

Inside one of the units they discovered a large-scale laundering plant capable of producing nearly six million litres of illegal diesel a year.

Another unit uncovered contained a storage tank and a fuel pump.

It's believed the setup was a makeshift petrol station.

Around 14,000 litres of fuel was seized along with a forklift truck and equipment used for fuel laundering.

This week's seizure is the latest in a long line of finds across Northern Ireland this year.

It comes as it was revealed today that Northern Ireland's most senior judges could review unduly lenient sentences for fuel and fraud under Executive proposals.

Pat Curtis of HMRC said such plants were being used to 'finance and encourage' criminality.

"This site was selling fuel at a price that is not economically viable," he said.

"Anyone thinking of buying this fuel needs to consider where their money is going, instead of funding public services.

"Buying fuel at this price is an offer that seems too good to be true, and that’s exactly what it is.

"Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste which, as taxpayers and ratepayers, we are all paying to clean up and dispose of."

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