‘DUTY MEN’ SMASH MASSIVE OIL LAUNDERING PLANT

Customs officials smash fuel laundering plant in Co Tyrone

Customs officials smash fuel laundering plant in Co Tyrone

CUSTOMS officials have dismantled a huge fuel laundering plant producing 3.6m litres of illicit fuel a year.

It is estimated the plant was evading around £2.5m in taxes a year as well.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers discovered the plant hidden in a shed at a private address in the Omagh area of Co Tyrone.

During the planned raid, more than four tonnes of toxic waste from the laundering operation and nearly 3,000 litres of illicit fuel were removed during the operation.

One man has been arrested under the Customs and Excise Management and is helping HMRC with its inquiries.

Pumps and equipment were also seized by HMRC officers.

Details of the raid, which took place on Friday, have only just been released.

Pat Curtis, of HMRC, said: “Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, involving significant safety and environmental issues.

“As taxpayers and local ratepayers, not only are we missing out on the stolen tax that ends up in the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying the substantial clean-up and disposal costs.

“It is wrong that honest businesses should be undercut by criminals and those involved in making or selling laundered fuel.

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

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