The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has called on the Irish government to take immediate action in order to combat illegal fuel which has generated millions of Euros for criminals.

During a meeting with Leo Varadkar, the minister for transport, tourism and sport, FTAI representatives said the availability of illicit and washed diesel was causing huge damage to compliant operators, and asked for the issue to be addressed by the government.

They told the minister there was growing support from a number of major business organisations calling for rebated diesel to remain unmarked which would immediately take away the attraction of removing the dye.

FTAI general manager Tom Wilson said: “Unless immediate action is taken by government there will be further damage caused to the compliant operators and failure to deal with this will send out the message that this government is prepared to allow serious criminals to continue making millions of Euros from sales of illegal fuel”.

“A scheme to provide farmers and others entitled to use rebated diesel with unmarked product could be developed in the same way as the proposed essential user fuel rebate. The administration of the scheme could be managed through approved and officially registered fuel suppliers as currently required by the Irish Revenue.”