Jail sentences totalling more than 10 years have been imposed in two cases involving fuel fraud. A Blackburn filling station owner has been jailed for evading almost £200,000 in tax by selling hundreds of thousands of litres of illegal diesel to unsuspecting motorists.

Nawaz Jan Virmani, 52, trading as Shadsworth Road Service Station, was caught by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers with 2,843 litres of illegal laundered diesel stored at his filling station in June 2013. An investigation into his business records revealed fake invoices for 212,450 litres of fuel and no legitimate paperwork for a further 126,791 litres.

At Preston Crown Court Virmani admitted that he had falsified invoices for the fuel to evade UK Excise Duty and conceal the existence of the laundered fuel. He pleaded guilty to £198,237 tax evasion in relation to the fuel offence. A separate charge of evading £46,901 in VAT will remain on his file. Virmani was jailed for 16 months.

Meanwhile a West Midlands gang who evaded more than £900,000 in duty and taxes by running a huckster site (an illegal filling station) were all given jail sentences. Frank Daly, 54, his son Jacob O’Callaghan, 26, and Danny Williams, 22, all from Wolverhampton, were arrested when investigations by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed their fuel fraud.