Ford and Durkan discuss fuel laundering and waste dumping issues
Stormont Executive press release - Department of Justice
Justice Minister David Ford has met with the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to discuss the issue of fuel laundering and the associated waste dumping.
Discussion focused on the recently completed report ‘A Profile on Waste Crime in NI’, as well as involvement of the National Crime Agency (NCA) in future cases of illegal fuel laundering and changes to law to address unduly lenient sentencing of offenders.
David Ford said: “Since September, three plants capable of laundering over 40 million litres of diesel per year have been discovered in Northern Ireland. Every illegal laundering operation generates tonnes of toxic waste, involving significant safety and environmental issues and substantial clean-up and disposal costs.
“We also know the cost of legitimate waste disposal has increased and there are significant profits to be made from illegal disposal, which is an issue for legitimate operators, and impacts on the environment and public safety. A sizeable criminal element exists in the Northern Ireland waste industry and, unfortunately, a proportion of those involved have links to organised crime and paramilitarism. Therefore, it is important that a variety of Government and law enforcement agencies work in partnership to tackle the issue.
“With Minister Durkan I discussed the way forward for our respective Departments, including the roles of the National Crime Agency (NCA), Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), the Police and local councils.”
Mark H Durkan said: “Fuel laundering and waste crime are major issues for both Departments. I am heartened to see a joined up approach in tackling both robustly with a particularly effective joint working relationship between NIEA and PSNI through the stakeholder partnership. I recognise that there is much more to do. By eliminating waste crime and fuel laundering we would significantly help the economy and improve the environment of Northern Ireland for all. I would strongly encourage anyone with information about those involved in either activity to report this anonymously to Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital