A FILLING station in the Lurgan area was raided and 1,550 litres of red diesel siezed in an operation by Customs officers targeting fuel fraud.
Two diesel pumps and a red diesel pump were seized in the operation on Thursday.
It was part of a Northern Ireland wide operation by HM Revenue and Customs during which almost 7,000 litres of fuel and six forecourt pumps were seized.
Officers visited two retail sites in Newtownabbey and Lurgan where they seized 6,500 litres of red diesel and removed four forecourt pumps. Officers removed two diesel forecourt pumps and an over ground fuel storage tank from a third retail site, suspected to be selling laundered fuel, in the Glarryford area.
John Whiting, assistant director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Retailers who knowingly sell red diesel to road users will not only face seizure and removal of fuel and equipment from their premises, but also risk losing their licence to trade in red diesel.
“Selling illicit fuel creates an unfair playing field and seriously undercuts legitimate traders who should be able to operate without the threat of unfair competition. Anyone with information on fuel misuse or suspicious activities can contact the Customs’ hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
Three private vehicles were seized and restored during the operation.
Laundered fuel is red (or green) diesel, which has been filtered through chemicals or acids to remove the government marker. The chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and damage fuel pumps in diesel cars.
Red diesel is marked gas oil or a rebated fuel for use in agricultural machinery and not for use in road vehicles. Green diesel is the Republic of Ireland equivalent of the UK’s red diesel.
For information on the RDCO scheme please visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/hcosmanual/hcos2025.htm