Two diesel laundering plants capable together of producing more than 15 million litres of illicit fuel a year have been discovered and closed in Co Armagh, Northern Ireland.
Officers from HMRC and the Police Service of Northern Ireland found one plant hidden in a shed at a private address in Cullyhanna; while the other was discovered in an unrelated operation next to a private address in Middletown.
Three tonnes of toxic waste – a by-product of the laundering process – along with 1,000 litres of illicit fuel, a tanker, and some pumping equipment were seized from the plants. Officers also seized computers after a search of the house in Cullyhanna.
A spokeswoman for HMRC was unable to confirm whether any individuals were found at either site or whether the finds were likely to lead to any charges.
In the last 12 months, HMRC has been involved in dismantling 27 diesel laundering plants in Northern Ireland, said the spokeswoman.
HMRC estimates that the use of illicit fuel resulted in lost revenue of £150m in Great Britain in 2010-11.
* Anyone with information about the production, supply or use of illicit fuel should contact HMRC’s free hotline on 0800 595000.