28/06/2013

Armagh Fuel Plant Discovered

More than 14 tonnes of toxic waste have been removed from farm buildings after the discovery of a diesel laundering plant in County Armagh.

On Thursday, officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), assisted by the PSNI, dismantled the plant.

HMRC says the operation could have produced almost five million litres of illegal fuel a year.

This would have resulted in a £3m excise duty and VAT evasion.

Pat Curtis, HMRC National Oils Co-ordinator, said: "Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, which involves significant environmental and safety issues. As taxpayers and local ratepayers, not only are we missing out on the stolen tax going into the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying the substantial cleanup and disposal costs.

"Buying illicit fuel funds crime and supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities. The only winners are the criminals. I would urge anyone with information on fuel misuse in their area to contact our free telephone hotline on 0800 59 5000 and contribute to the fight against this criminality."

Pumps, tanks and equipment were removed from the site. A forensic investigation and enquiries into the illegal operation are continuing.

(IT/JP)

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