Two fraudsters have been convicted after a filling station in Denbighshire, Wales, lost more than £25,000 worth of diesel in just over a week.
Mohammed Hussain and Haroon Rashid used a van with adapted large fuel tanks and were caught after staff at the Esso Services on the A55 at Bodelwyddan became suspicious about their frequent returns and shut off the pumps when they visited again in May 2012.
Hussain, 34, of Manchester, was jailed for 12 months after being convicted of three fraud offences. Rashid, 31, of Oldham, admitted four frauds and possessing bogus fuel cards.
He was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months with 300 hours unpaid work and was told to pay compensation of £900.
Mold Crown Court heard the Ford Transit van looked normal but had two hidden 1,000 litre tanks in the back, and the fuel was paid for with fake fuel cards.
Sion ap Mihangel, prosecuting, said Rashid only obtained £10 worth of fuel in his final visit after staff at the garage had their suspicions about his frequent return and shut off the pumps.
The pair drove off but were stopped by police who seized their fake fuel cards and the adapted van.
Judge Niclas Parry said the pair were part of a larger, sophisticated fuel scam which police were investigating.
False applications had been made for fuel cards and they were used to obtain tens of thousands of pounds worth of fuel throughout the north west and north Wales, he said.
The two men were not involved in the planning and the organisation of the scam or the adapting of the vehicle but they knew what they were doing.
“This fraud would not have been possible without people like you playing the roles that you did,” he said.