Belfast Telegraph

Fuel laundering plant dismantled

A laundering plant with the capacity to produce more than two million litres of illicit diesel a year and evade £1.3 million in excise duty has been uncovered by Customs inspectors in Co Down.

Revenue and Customs officers and police raided a farm in Banbridge on Tuesday, seizing 6,000 litres of fuel and a commercial vehicle while dismantling the laundering equipment on site.

A 63-year-old man was arrested and released on bail.

It is estimated that the plant could have produced 6,000 litres of illegally laundered fuel a day, or more than two million litres a year, a spokesman for HMRC said.

John Whiting, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: "Fuel laundering is dangerous in every way - and those involved show complete disregard for anything other than profit.

"There is a risk to other road users from the transport of laundered fuel, as the vehicles used to do so are often unsafe.

"There is also damage to the environment, as the by-products from the laundering process can cause devastation and leave the public with a hefty clean-up bill.

"Illicit fuel also damages engines and undercuts honest businesses."

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