HMRC: “This is fuel fraud on an industrial scale.”

As BBC NI report, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have announced the dismantling of the largest fuel laundering plant ever uncovered in the UK.  From the BBC NI report

The plant was discovered in a raid in Crossmagalen, County Armagh on Tuesday.

A man arrested in connection with the find has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

HMRC officers, accompanied by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), seized six storage tanks, 37,000 litres of illicit fuel, 1,000 litres of acid, pumps and associated equipment.

Almost 21,000 litres of toxic waste, stored in barrels and in an underground slurry pit, were also removed from the site.

Clare Merrills from Revenue and Customs said the plant was three times larger than any other plant found in the UK.

And from the report

HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation John Whiting said: “This is fuel fraud on an industrial scale.

“The sheer size of this illegal operation is staggering and far exceeds anything we have ever come across before.

“This activity would have generated massive revenue loss as well as tonnes of toxic waste – it’s economic and environmental impact on Northern Ireland would have been considerable.”

He added: “The location of this illegal operation would suggest that the fuel was destined for both sides of the border, resulting in losses to both the UK and Republic of Ireland exchequers.

“This operation shows the success of multi-agency co-operation in tackling fuel fraud and why we will continue to work with our partners, as part of the Organised Crime Task Force, in the fight against organised crime.”

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  • joeCanuck

    I trust whoever is responsible isn’t a good republican.

  • Alf

    This is a crime involving potentially millions of pounds. Yet the only person arrested is released on bail within twenty four hours.

    If he is a republican he must be of the right variety.

  • socaire

    I condemn the toxic waste. Devil take the “HMRC”.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, socaire, when the revolution comes I’ll call them The People’s Republic’s Revenue and Customs (TPRRC). 😉

  • Dec

    Diesel £1.40 a litre. “Largest fuel laundering plant ever uncovered in the UK.”

    I wonder if there’s a connection there somehow.

  • Alf


    If there is full marks to them for setting it up so quickly.

  • socaire

    I would change my outlook well before the revolution, Pete, if I was you. What cut does the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha get out of it?

  • ItwasSammyMcNally

    Drawing an arbitary line through a small country based on a sectarian head count was not a good idea except for those who wish to profit from the inevitable silliness it throws up.

    Smuggling or the ‘the partition tax’ as my Granny used to call it will only be eradicated when the border fades( as it is doing) away.

  • Pete Baker


    This isn’t one for simplistic sloganising. Be that complaints about fuel duty or the “House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha”.

    As Michael White pointed out, “politics, like life in general, is full of panaceas”

  • Alf


    In what way is smuggling a form of taxation?

  • Pete Baker

    Look again Sammy mac.

    It’s not ‘smuggling’ that’s providing the illegal profit margin.

    It’s the fuel laundering.

  • iluvni

    Sell the property to pay for the clean up costs.

  • andnowwhat

    Erm, it’s a finacilal crises. One that has been fueled by the financial fuel laundering of cheap, ghost debt.

    The decent people bought pirate debt, some others bought pirate fuel.

    See Max Keiser for the full story.

  • Alf


    The Provo diesel barons were at their work during the boom years.

  • andnowwhat

    Mr Baker, do you really believe that your goverment taxes fairly?

    Do you really believe that a massive company like Topshop’s CEO suddenly realises that the brain behind it all was his wife and that all profit gains taxed should be addressed to her foreign account?

    Do you really think that Vodafones’s 6 billion tax bill is better to be written off?

    Do you realise that my partner’s travel expenses have not been updated for 5 years, she’s a district nurse,and her wear and tear portion on her private car has been removed?

    Tax guilt is based on loyalty. Loyalty is based on being valued.

  • Pete Baker

    “Mr Baker, do you really believe that your goverment taxes fairly?”

    See my previous post, ““politics, like life in general, is full of panaceas”

  • According to the Daily Mail, the Treasury would lose £20 million per year because of this plant and will gain £1.5 billion per year because of rising VAT. The launderers and the extractionists are quids in while everyone else will have less in their wallets and some will probably face a garage repair bill.

  • Is forfeiture of property allowed in the UK should a cannabis grow-op or meth lab be found there?

    If so, shouldn’t the same regime be imposed on those who harbour fuel tampering plants?

    Mind you, green/red diesel is a price solution to an income problem. Find another way to subvent farmers and get rid of the damn stuff.

    I hope ALL the Teachtai Dala in border counties are pressing the Revenue Commissioners to be vigilant for such activities, since they by their nature hurt law abiding fuel merchants.