Getting away with it

Parliamentary questioning by UUP peer, Lord Laird, has revealed only 7 people have been charged with fuel laundering offences since 2002 despite scores of laudering plants being raided. It was estimated in 2006 alone that fuel laudering cost the Exchequer £245 million.

  • Nevin
  • Turgon

    It does seem faintly incredible that so few people have been charged with fuel laundering when there have been so many raids on fuel laundering sites. Just as it is somewhat incredible that so few leaders of the UDA are sucessfully proscuted for involvement in drugs trafficing and similar activities.

    The unspoken understanding that the paramilitaries seem to have been given is that provided the terrorist type violence was stopped (or at least minimised) then the organised crime would be semi tolerated. I suppose the hope was that once violence was very definitely a thing of the past; the police would be able to go after organised crime. This was a flawed assumption.

    Firstly because the whole basis of the “peace process” was thereby based on giving in to criminals, allowing them to remain criminals with near impunity and making the perverse distinction between some forms of crime being “good” crime (killing RCs by the loyalsits; Prods by the IRA) and other “bad” crime like drug dealing, fuel laundering etc.

    Secondly it was flawed because it has allowed the terrorists to devote all their energies to build up criminal empires which are now extremely profitable and with tentacles in very many places which makes eradicating the criminality almost impossible. As many have said before it seems a bit like cancer; if you do not cut it out early on it is often incurable. This cancer seems quite close to incurable now.

    Thirdly the terrorists are always able to wave the vague threat that if their criminal enterprises are attacked too agressively by the forces of the state then they might recommence the political violence.

    Fourthly (and there may be many other reasons others can point out): the situtation is such that in some communities (especially working class Protestant ones) the only people who seem to suceed in life are those involved in criminality. Breaking the cycle of crime in some places becomes almost impossible when young people (especially young men) see the only realistic way for them to get richer and gain status is to join in criminality.

    This is the poisoned legacy which the Faustian pact of the “peace process” has given us; that there is massive fuel laundering and very few prosecutions should come as no surprise. The hope has to remain that Margaret Ritchie’s decision to block money inevitable destined for the UDA is only the start and that the police will be encouraged and assisted to go after these criminal gangs. We must hope it is not too late already.

  • Gabirele

    Anyone care to name an Italian organization thta also started out for patriotic reasons?

  • Ulster’s my homeland, it’s not Irish

    “Lord Laird, has revealed only 7 people have been charged with fuel laundering offences since 2002 despite scores of laudering plants being raided.”

    All the evidence points to organised crime.

  • 0b101010

    Pathetic

  • billyghoti

    Sounds like collusion to me. Can we expect strident calls for an investigation?

  • Anyone care to name an Italian organization thta also started out for patriotic reasons?
    Posted by Gabirele on Nov 04, 2007 @ 05:25 PM

    Frighteningly accurate, right down to certain loyalist groups killing senior members due to their opposition to drug dealing. You are thinking Cosa Nostra or is it past my bed time?

  • Sean

    Turgon
    The same thing is happening on both sides of the divide, but i would say based on the crime figures more in the loyalist estates, that parents are not instilling in their children the notion that hard work and a straight life wil eventually lift them out of the squallor they were born into

    they see no future or atleast they are not taught that hard work is its own reward. instead the easy life is projected as the prefwered lifestyle.

    unfortunately this seems to be a world wide phenomenon

  • I’ve had my car stoned by young Belfast primary school kids for no better reason than they had stones to hand, and were bored. I’ve seen the same kids running up to and spitting at passers by. The lack of respect for laws, or indeed for anyone else, starts young.

    And as Sean seems to suggest, is not really a sectarian issue.

    Depriving them of discipline is the real breach of these wee thugs’ human rights. Instead we get moaning about how nothing can be done.

  • Aquifer

    It has been long past time to license every retail fuel outlet on this island and count every gallon of fuel. The only reason why not is that once it is done, it will be clear that both governments tolerated and in effect funded PIRA for a generation. There was less ‘foreign’ funding for PIRA than assumed.

  • pith

    Seven prosecutions but how many convictions?

  • McGrath

    It has been long past time to license every retail fuel outlet on this island and count every gallon of fuel. The only reason why not is that once it is done, it will be clear that both governments tolerated and in effect funded PIRA for a generation. There was less ‘foreign’ funding for PIRA than assumed.

    Posted by Aquifer on Nov 05, 2007 @ 09:34 AM

    Would it cost less to balance the cost of fuel on both sides of the border?