Belfast Telegraph

50 tonnes of toxic waste removed from huge fuel laundering plant on Armagh border

By Nevin Farrell

The largest toxic waste dump linked to diesel laundering in the UK was uncovered by Customs near the south Armagh border.

Nearly 50 tonnes of waste - the by-product of the process - was removed from the site in the Forkhill area, a HM Revenue & Customs spokeswoman said.

The clean-up bill will cost £25,000.

The plant is estimated to have been capable of producing 20 million litres of fuel and evading around £12.5m in taxes a year.

It was discovered in a livestock shed by HMRC officers, accompanied by PSNI officers and staff from the Government's Environmental Crime Unit, as they searched a cattle farm.

Officers also removed 2,000 litres of illicit fuel, pumps and equipment.

Pat Curtis, national oils coordinator, HMRC, said: "Every illegal diesel laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, but this was the largest amount we have ever uncovered at a single site in the UK."

It also emerged yesterday that around 10 miles away, on the southern side of the south Armagh border, the Republic's Customs officers and Garda raided a diesel laundering plant in Co Monaghan.

A HMRC spokesperson said the two raids were unconnected.

The plant at Drumboat, Inniskeen, had the capacity to launder 20 million litres of diesel a year.

That equates to a potential loss to the Republic's exchequer of €10m in excise and duties.

Three oil tankers, a mobile oil laundry, two stationary tanks and 50,000 litres of laundered fuel were also uncovered.

A 42-year-old man was arrested in relation to breaches of environmental waste legislation. .

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