Belfast Telegraph

Illegal fuel laundering plant raided

By Colin Francis

A diesel laundering plant, capable of producing over 8m litres of illicit fuel a year, has been uncovered by customs officers in a cattle shed in Co Armagh.

Officers from HMRC, the PSNI and the DoE Environmental Crime Unit searched a farm in the Crossmaglen area on Tuesday and discovered the plant, which was laundering green diesel.

Nearly 10 tonnes of toxic waste and 1,000 litres of suspected illicit fuel were removed from the site during the multi-agency operation.

Pat Curtis, National Oils Co-ordinator, HMRC, said: "The fact that nearly 10 tonnes of toxic waste were recovered from a working cattle farm shows a total disregard for the wellbeing and safety of these animals. The individuals involved in this fraud will stop at nothing in order to line their pockets with criminal cash.

"We will continue to work with our partners in the Organised Crime Task Force to combat this illegal activity."

Pumps, equipment and 1,000 litres of suspected illicit fuel were seized during the operation.

Laundered fuel is red (or green) diesel, which has been filtered through chemicals or acids to remove the government marker. The chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and damage fuel pumps in diesel cars.

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