Toxic waste and fuel seized in customs operation

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A was arrested yesterday after a fuel laundering plant was uncovered.

HMRC said the laundering plant had been capable of producing nearly 13 million litres of illicit fuel a year, thus evading over £9m in duty and taxes.

It was found by customers officers during a search of an industrial building around Meigh, south Armagh.

It was found on Thursday, and reported by HMRC last night.

The officers who raided the plant were accompanied by the PSNI.

All-in-all, 3,000 litres of fuel was seized, and 15 tonnes of toxic waste taken away.

Also seized was machinery and two vehicles.

The man from south Armagh has been released on bail and investigations are continuing.

Mike Parkinson, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said in a statement: “Our success in today’s operation means we have stopped a large amount of illicit fuel entering the legitimate market, preventing further revenue loss and helping law-abiding traders fight unfair competition.

“We have also safely removed toxic waste which can cause untold damage to the environment and local landscape.

“These are difficult times for businesses economically and it is impossible for legitimate traders to compete on an unfair playing field. We owe it to them to support them in any way we can.

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

“If anyone has information about fuel fraud we would encourage them to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”