A diesel laundering plant in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, capable of producing more than 22 million litres of illicit fuel a year and evading almost £14m in revenue, was dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Friday (16 May).

Officers from HMRC and the Police Service of Northern Ireland searched an isolated farm building in the Jonesborough area where they uncovered the laundering plant.

During the operation officers removed over 26 tonnes of toxic waste – the by-product of the laundering process – and 700 litres of illicit fuel, as well as a number of vehicles, pumps and equipment.

Pat Curtis, national oils co-ordinator, 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 595000.”