22/06/2005

Man arrested in fuel-laundering find

One man has been arrested after a fuel-laundering network was discovered in Co Tyrone on Tuesday.

Customs officers, alongside PSNI detectives, discovered two laundering plants in farm buildings in the Washingbay area of Coalisland, along with pumping and storage equipment, two vehicles and 8,000 litres of fuel.

Simultaneous searches of a filling station and a transport company in Coalisland resulted in the detention of a further 23,000 litres of fuel.

Customs Head of Investigation Northern Ireland, Anne-Marie Gordon said: “This HMRC and PSNI operation shows how joint working, as part of the Organised Crime Task Force, has stopped a substantial amount of harmful diesel entering the legitimate fuel market and affecting honest businesses.

“This joint initiative is part of our ongoing activity to detect not only the smuggling and laundering of illegal fuel, but also the onward transport and sale through commercial outlets across Northern Ireland.”

Investigations are continuing as officers from Customs and the PSNI dismantle diesel-laundering operation, Customs said.

(MB/SP)

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