An illegal filling station and fuel laundering plant in County Tyrone has been discovered and disassembled by HMRC recently. The bootleg station was allegedly selling prohibited fuel for only £1.11 per litre.
Inndustrial units in theMountfield area of Omagh were searched by Officers from HMRC and the Police Service of Northern Ireland after receiving reports of the illicit set up. Officers discovered a large-scale fuel laundering plant capable of producing nearly six million litres of illicit diesel a year inside one of the industrial units. Inside a second storage unit a storage tank and a fuel pump was discovered. HMRC suspects this second unit was being used to sell the black-market diesel.
Speaking about the discovery in Northern Ireland, Pat Curtis, National Oils Co-ordinator for HMRC, said: “This site was selling fuel at a price that is not economically viable. Anyone thinking of buying this fuel needs to consider where their money is going, instead of funding public services. Buying this fuel is financing and encouraging criminality in their own communities. Buying fuel at this price is an offer that seems too good to be true, and that’s exactly what it is. Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste which, as taxpayers and ratepayers, we are all paying to clean up and dispose of. At this site eight tonnes of toxic waste had to be recovered. I would urge anyone with information on fuel misuse in their area to contact our free telephone hotline on 0800 59 5000 and contribute to the fight against this criminality.”
During the dismantling of the illegal plant around 14,000 litres of fuel, a forklift truck and 14 metal cylinders were removed. Investigations into how and what happened in County Tyrone are continuing.