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  1. ITV Report

Customs raid illegal fuel operations

Essex operation underway. Photo: HMRC

Suspected diesel laundering plants in Essex and Merseyside, capable of producing 20 million litres of illicit fuel a year, have been dismantled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The two sites were discovered to have evaded an estimated £12 million in duty between them.

Essex premises. Credit: HMRC

Last Thursday, Upminster and West Thurrock premises were searched by HMRC and Kent Police officers.

Essex operation. Credit: HMRC

Pat Curtis, National Oils Co-ordinator, HMRC, said:

Every illegal diesel laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste and robs UK taxpayers by evading fuel duty. Taxpayers are not only missing out on the stolen tax that ends up the pockets of the criminals, but will have to pay the substantial clean-up and disposal costs.

Buying illicit fuel not only funds crime, it supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities and we will continue to work with our partners in the Police to target this criminality, which costs millions in lost taxes every year.

– Pat Curtis

Investigations into the seizures are continuing.