A fuel laundering plant was discovered hidden in a shed after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers searched a private address in the Omagh area of County Tyrone last Friday.

Officers removed more than four tonnes of toxic waste, the by-product of the laundering process, nearly 3,000 litres of illicit fuel, pumps and equipment during the operation.

A man is helping HMRC with its enquiries and investigations are continuing.

Pat Curtis, national oils coordinator, HMRC, said: “Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, involving significant safety and environmental issues. As taxpayers and local ratepayers, not only are we missing out on the stolen tax that ends up the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying the substantial clean-up and disposal costs.

“It is wrong that honest businesses should be undercut by criminals and those involved in making or selling laundered fuel. Buying illicit fuel not only funds crime, it supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities. If anyone has information about fuel fraud we would encourage them to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”