A highly efficient and sophisticated mobile fuel-laundering racket in Northern Ireland has been dismantled and 3,000 liters of illegal fuel seized by HM Revenue & Customs.

A curtain-sided heavy goods vehicle adapted to carry a tank for transporting fuel, a fuel tanker, three metal storage tanks, and six other storage tanks containing toxic waste along with a generator, pumps and filtration equipment were also seized.

The illegal scheme involved the use of chemicals to remove government markers from diesel fuel designated for use in agricultural machinery only. The estimated output of the plant was 150,000 liters per week.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) head of detection Northern Ireland, Maggie Eyden, said: HM Revenue & Customs officers have stopped a substantial amount of harmful diesel from damaging engines and affecting honest businesses. If this sophisticated operation to illegally remove the chemical markers in duty-rebated fuel had not been shut down, it would have meant an annual revenue loss of GBP3.75million. This is revenue that should be going to our schools and hospitals, not into the pockets of a few individuals.