Men arrested and fuel laundering plant shut


Three men have been arrested and a suspected fuel laundering plant shut down as part of a UK-wide HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation into a suspected multi-million pound fraud.

More than 50 HMRC officers, supported by North Wales Police and Police Service of Northern Ireland, carried out simultaneous searches of nine business and four residential addresses in Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Manchester, Surrey, Gloucestershire, Devon and Northern Ireland.

A suspected fuel laundering plant was taken apart in south Armagh where 22,500 litres of fuel was seized, along with 3,100 litres of marked gas oil, 350 litres of kerosene, 12,700 litres of lubricant, two trucks, a caddy van and a forklift.

The suspected laundering plant had the capacity to produce about 20m litres of illicit fuel a year, with the potential to evade £11m in revenue. In the Greater Belfast area 6,500 litres of suspected laundered fuel was recovered from a retail site.

The men arrested were questioned by HMRC and have been released pending further inquiries. Investigations are ongoing. HMRC fraud investigation service assistant director Tracey Noon said: “The illicit trade in laundered fuel is a serious crime and one we are determined to detect and disrupt.”