Anger at lack of arrests after two more fuel laundering plants discovered in Draperstown

Fuel laundering plant discovered in Draperstown
Fuel laundering plant discovered in Draperstown

Mid Ulster DUP councillor, and member of the PCSP, James Shiels Shiels has hit out at the lack of arrests over fuel laundering, following the discovery of two more plants in Draperstown.

Police, in conjunction with DAERA, discovered a the fuel laundering plants in the Draperstown area on Wednesday, June 29.

But Cllr Shiels said he would like to see more convictions for the offence.

“This latest find in the Draperstown area is a further confirmation of scale of the problem of fuel laundering in South Londonderry,” he said.

“Time and time again I have called for greater cooperation between the PSNI and HMRC in tackling this crime, yet arrests and convictions for such activity remain practically non-existent.

“That is not good enough.

“The dogs in street know who is responsible for this activity, yet they seem above the law and beyond reach of prosecution with anonymous tip offs leading to little more than old sites, from which criminals have long since moved on, and the rest of us are left to clean up.

“People are calling out for the kid gloves to be taken off with these criminals,” he added, “for active plants to be targeted, and for these bandits to be brought to justice. It is high time we all worked together to achieve that.”

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “The discovery of this fuel laundering plant shows the commitment of police in Draperstown, working extensively with HMRC, to detect and prevent fuel smuggling and laundering.

“We will always act on concerns and information from the community and we would encourage any member of the public who knows anything in regard to this kind of illegality to contact their local police on the 101 number.

“Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”