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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Illegal fuel plant seized
Diesel laundering tanks
Acid is used to change colour of diesel
The discovery of a diesel laundering plant in County Down is a major blow to the illegal fuel trade, customs have said.

Customs officers working with the police raided remote farm buildings in Rathfriland on Sunday.

They seized equipment that was capable of laundering fuel worth an estimated 25,000 a week.

Two fuel tankers and 10,000 litres of laundered fuel were also seized along with 4,000 litres of acid residue, which is used to change the colour of the diesel.


This operation is another significant hit on the illegal fuel trade

Customs and Excise

"This operation is another significant hit on the illegal fuel trade and shows the benefit of close working with the Police Service of Northern Ireland," said a customs spokesman.

"We have repeatedly warned motorists to think before buying cheap fuel.

"It puts honest fillings stations out of business, robs the taxpayer of money for public services and puts the motorist's vehicle at risk of serious engine damage," he said.

"Laundering plants bring additional dangers, as the acid residue is often dumped without regard to the local environment."

Fuel laundering involves changing the colour of agricultural diesel, which is red in the United Kingdom and green in the Irish Republic.

The diesel for agricultural use is rebated and costs significantly less than the white coloured road diesel.

See also:

08 May 02 | N Ireland
18 Apr 02 | N Ireland
25 Dec 01 | N Ireland
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