Pair sentenced for £16,000 fuel fraud

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A director and an employee of a Portadown haulage company, who evaded £16,100 in tax by transporting laundered diesel from Northern Ireland into Britain, have been sentenced after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Seamus McCambridge (38), a lorry driver for McMullan International, was stopped by Police Scotland Officers at Cairnryan in May 2013.

The vehicle he was driving was searched and 24,000 litres of laundered fuel was found in the trailer.

The fuel was being transported in 960 plastic drums, concealed in cardboard boxes and wrapped in cling film in an attempt to avoid detection.

Fergal McMullan (33) a director of McMullan International, was subsequently arrested at his Co Armagh home.

A search of his bedside table uncovered a fake delivery document connected to the fuel seized at Cairnryan.

Steve Tracey, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“The safe transportation of fuel takes great care.

“However, fuel fraudsters like McCambridge and McMullan are simply motivated by money, oblivious to the safety of other road users and the environmental damage caused by fuel laundering.

“Anyone with information about this type of activity should contact HMRC on our 24-hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

When McCambridge was detained by HMRC officers, he claimed that he was just going to Birmingham to meet another driver to swap trailers.

Falsified business records were also seized from the lorry.

Seamus McCambridge, of Middlepark Avenue, Cushandall, Ballymena, was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years, when he appeared at Newry Crown Court on Monday.

Fergal McMullan, Seaghan Road, Collone, Armagh, was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years, when he appeared at the same court.

McCambridge and McMullan pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in Newry Crown Court, to charges of fraudulent evasion of Excise Duty.