Two men from Great Yarmouth were arrested and a diesel laundering plant, capable of evading more than £1.3m in duty and taxes a year, was dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on Friday 20 March.

Officers from HMRC and Norfolk Police searched a business address in Great Yarmouth where the laundering plant, used to strip the government markers from an estimated 2.3 million litres of diesel per annum, was uncovered.

Storage tanks, equipment, 1,500 litres of suspected laundered fuel and 4,000 litres of red diesel were seized during the operation. The men aged 40 and 30 have been released on bail and investigations are continuing.

Pat Curtis, national oils co-ordinator, HMRC, said: “Fuel laundering is a dangerous activity. We believe that fuel was laundered at this property without any safety precautions.

“You may think buying illicit fuel is a bargain, but you have no idea what you’re getting, and you can be sure that you are lining the pockets of criminals. Each year £480m is lost to fuel fraud in the UK, money that should be funding public services.

“We ask anyone with information about this type of activity to contact us on the Customs’ Hotline on 0800 595000.”