No arrests made after laundering plant discovered in cattle shed
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
TEN tonnes of toxic waste and 1,000 litres of suspected illicit fuel were uncovered in a cattle shed in Crossmaglen on Friday - but once again no arrests were made.
The diesel laundering plant that was laundering green diesel at premises on the Loughross Road near Crossmaglen was dismantled in a joint operation by officers from Environment Crime Unit, PSNI and HMRC.
A customs spokesperson said that while no arrests were made, an investigation is ongoing.
Pat Curtis, National Oils Co-ordinator, HMRC, said: "The fact that nearly ten tonnes of toxic waste were recovered from a working cattle farm shows a total disregard for the wellbeing and safety of these animals. The individuals involved in this fraud will stop at nothing in order to line their pockets with criminal cash.
“We will continue to work with our partners in the Organised Crime Task Force to combat this illegal activity."
It is estimated that the laundering plant was capable of evading over £5 million in lost duty and taxes per year.
As well as the removal of 1,000 litres of suspected illicit fuel, pumps and equipment were also seized during the operation.
Justice Minister David Ford said anyone knowingly buying laundered fuel "need to realise that they are funding criminal gangs" and that illegal fuel can damage vehicles.
He said: "Fuel laundering may seem like a low level crime, but those involved usually have interests in other criminal areas, such as drug dealing or counterfeiting.
“Anyone knowingly buying laundered fuel needs to realise that they are funding criminal gangs who are a blight on our community and whose only purpose is to make money illegally.
“Buying laundered fuel also poses a risk to the owners' car, as the chemicals used in the laundering process can cause extensive engine damage, so saving a few pence now can result in bills of several hundreds of pounds later."
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