Three illegal fuel plants raided

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CUSTOMS officials have swooped on three fuel laundering plants in Co Armagh this week, which had a combined capacity to produce 20 millions of illegal fuel.

Two of the plants were uncovered during a search by HM Revenue and Customs officers and the PSNI on Concession Road, Crossmaglen on Thursday night.

They seized a large quantity of chemicals used to launder diesel, plus six large capacity fuel tanks, 16,800 litres of laundered fuel, two vehicles, pumps and other equipment. More than 10 tonnes of toxic waste also had to be removed.

A 27-year-old is due to appear in court in connection with the discovery.

In another operation on Tuesday night HMRC officers, along with the PSNI, dismantled another laundering plant in south Armagh, which involved the removal of a 25,000 litre fuel laundering tank.

Mike Norgrove, Director of HMRC, said the plants running at capacity had the potential to cause a loss of over £9 million a year in lost taxes.