Fuel laundering plant seized

Police
Police

THREE men from counties Antrim and Londonderry were arrested and a mobile fuel laundering plant was seized by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) near Portglenone.

HMRC officers, assisted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland, carried out searches at a commercial yard in County Antrim where they uncovered the plant capable of producing 4.3 million litres of illicit fuel a year.

Officers removed two large tanks chained to the inside of the trailer along with pumps and equipment used in the laundering process.

Almost two and a half tonnes of toxic waste and 4,000 litres of red diesel were also recovered after searches of sheds in the yard.

“Fuel tankers are designed to transport fuel safely. These tanks carrying diesel were simply chained to the trailer, showing a total disregard for other road users and posing an enormous public safety risk,” John Whiting, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said.

“Buying illicit fuel not only funds crime, but also supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities.

“I would encourage anyone who has information about fuel fraud in their area to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

The three men were questioned by HMRC and have been released on bail. Investigations are continuing.