06/02/2004

Two-day fuel operation leads to £13,000 fines

A two-day joint Customs and PSNI operation in the west of the province has led to the detection of 24 vehicles using illegal fuel and up to £13,000 worth of fines being handed out to drivers.

Specialist road fuel officers carried out the operation with police in Londonderry, Strabane and Enniskillen during which almost 600 vehicles were stopped and tested for illegal fuel.

Commenting on the operation, Customs Head of Detection Northern Ireland Colin McAllister said: “This Customs and PSNI operation shows how joint working, as part of the Organised Crime Task Force, can tackle road fuel and motoring offences.

“Three commercial vehicles were seized and not restored and enquiries are ongoing into the illegal fuel use. This type of operation is ongoing and it is no longer the case that using illegal fuel is worth the risk. All companies who have commercial vehicles detected will face audit and could be liable to heavier fines in respect of previous misuse."

Mr McAllister said motorists needed to be more aware of the real costs of buying cheap diesel and that such action's puts honest filling stations out of business.

(MB)

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