A man and a woman from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland have been arrested and nearly 8,000 litres of fuel seized as part of an ongoing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation into a suspected VAT and excise fraud worth an estimated £300,000.

Officers from HMRC and the Police Service of Northern Ireland searched a private address and a retail site in the Cookstown area on Wednesday (30 July), where they seized computers and business records linked to the fraud investigation.

The man and the woman were interviewed by HMRC and have been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Mike Parkinson, assistant director, criminal investigation, HMRC, said: “The success of multi-agency working is crucial to tackling the problem of fuel fraud. These are difficult times for businesses economically and it is impossible for legitimate traders to compete on an unfair playing field. We owe it to them to support them in any way we can.

“Anyone with information about the production, storage or sale of illicit fuel should contact the Customs hotline on 0800 595000.”