Belfast Telegraph

Massive toxic waste dump found at fuel laundering plant in Co Armagh

Comes after another plant was found close to the border

The largest toxic waste dump linked to fuel laundering has been discovered in Co Armagh.

The plant - in itself a massive diesel laundering operation - was uncovered by customs officials at a farm in Forkhill.

A total of 50 tonnes of waste was recovered.

The laundering plant is said to have been able to produce 20 million litres of fuel a year.

That amounts to £12.5 million a year in evaded taxes.

Pat Curtis of 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. 

"As taxpayers and local ratepayers, not only are we missing out on the stolen tax that ends up the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying the substantial clean-up and disposal costs, which will be around £25,000 for this site alone.

"Buying illicit fuel not only funds crime, it supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities."

It comes just after customs officials in the Republic smashed a multimillion-euro fuel laundering plant in Co Monaghan.

A man has been arrested after the latest illegal fuel cleaning factory along the border was uncovered at Drumboat, Inniskeen.

It is believed the operation had the potential to cost the Irish taxpayer more than 10 million euro every year.

Revenue officers, backed up by an elite armed Garda squad, moved onto the site late last night after a lengthy surveillance operation, sparked by a curious official who noticed suspicious activity in the area months ago.

The plant, in a commercial yard close to the border with south Armagh in Northern Ireland, has the capacity to launder dyes out of about 20 million litres of oil every year. The dyes are used to differentiate fuels sold at lower taxes for certain industries, like agriculture.

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