Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

‘Illicit fuel operation’ uncovered after blaze

A house has been badly damaged after an alleged fuel laundering plant caught fire in south Armagh.

Customs chiefs uncovered the alleged plant after a blaze broke out at a building on Cladymore Road, near Newtownhamilton on Tuesday.

It is understood police and Customs officials were called in after firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze.

A private dwelling and an outhouse were both damaged in the fire.

A spokeswoman for Revenue and Customs said that evidence of fuel laundering has been uncovered.

She said: “After assessing the remains of the fire late yesterday evening, HMRC can now confirm that they believe the outbuilding was being used as a fuel laundering facility.

“Due to the intensity of the fire the damage to the property was severe and it has been difficult to ascertain exactly how much fuel could have been involved or the scale of the laundering operation.

“A fuel tanker, oil drums, fuel and other equipment commonly used in the laundering process were found within the remains of the premises.”

Armagh councillor Noel Donnelly branded laundered fuel a “plague”. The DUP man added: “The more that can be caught the better.”

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