Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Smugglers adapt vans to carry fuel

Two vehicles specially adapted to smuggle fuel have been seized by officers from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in Co Londonderry as part of a multi-agency operation in the area.

A van with the ability to dispense fuel from a tank in the back and a second vehicle were seized by HMRC officers when it was discovered they had both been adapted to carry smuggled fuel. A total of 1,600 litres of fuel were recovered from these vehicles.

The operation involved HMRC, the PSNI and the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).

During the operation an additional 10 vehicles were found to contain either red or green diesel in their running tanks resulting in the seizure of almost 3,000 litres of fuel and the recovery of £3,660 in fines, penalties and restorations.

Brian Dixon, HMRC specialist investigation, said: “The criminals involved in the transportation of smuggled fuel care nothing for the safety of other road users. The vehicles used are unsafe and the dangers they pose to anyone in the vicinity show a total disregard for public safety.

“Genuine businesses are already facing difficult times and it is wrong that they should be undercut by these criminals.

“Fuel fraud is not a victimless crime. We will continue to use the full array of sanctions at our disposal against those engaged in the illicit supply, sale or misuse of fuel and we would encourage anyone with information to contact us at 0800 59 5000.”

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