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Trio sentenced after Jonesborough fuel raid

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Trio sentenced after Jonesborough fuel raid thumbnailTHE scene of the large laundering plant at Kilnasaggart Road in the Jonesborough area in January 2013. DEM2001

THREE men linked to a sophisticated diesel laundering plant in Jonesborough, which had purpose-built underground storage to hide illegal fuel, have been sentenced after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
HMRC officers began investigating Padraigh Doran, 33, Martin Fitzpatrick, 35 and Micheail Kennon, 25, after a large laundering plant was discovered at Kilnasaggart Road in the Jonesborough area in January 2013.
The underground storage facility had the capacity to hold more than 100,000 litres of laundered fuel, with an agricultural shed built over the top in an attempt to disguise the illegal activity. The set-up was capable of producing 22 million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading 19.6m in lost duty and taxes.
HMRC officers seized 39,000 litres of laundered fuel, two fuel tankers, 62 bags of bleaching earth - used to launder the diesel - and 18,000 litres of toxic waste from the site. Doran was also sentenced for a separate fuel fraud offence after he was caught driving a van carrying 2,400 litres of laundered fuel in November 2014.
The trio appeared before Newry Crown Court last Tuesday, May 2.
Doran, 33, a mechanic from Macullagh Road, Newtownhamilton, was sentenced to two concurrent 18 months prison sentences, suspended for three years.
Fitzpatrick, 35, a self-employed lorry driver from Main Street, Newry, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for three years.
Meanwhile Kennon, 26, an unemployed farmer, from Newtown Road, Belleeks, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for 3 years, when he appeared at Newry Crown Court.
They had all pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in January 2017 to the charge of the fraudulent evasion of Excise Duty contrary to Section 170 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

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