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Two arrested after discovery of oil laundering plants

The plants had a combined capacity to launder 20 million litres of fuel a year.

Items used for chemical testing found by Customs and Garda officers at a fuel laundering plant unearthed in Knightstown, Co Meath in May 2011
Items used for chemical testing found by Customs and Garda officers at a fuel laundering plant unearthed in Knightstown, Co Meath in May 2011
Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TWO  MEN HAVE been arrested after two oil laundering plants with the capacity to launder a total of 20 million litres of fuel a year were uncovered by Revenue today.

In two connected intelligence-led operations, officer from the Revenue’s Customs Service, assisted by the Regional Support Unit and local Gardaí, uncovered the plants that have a capacity representing a total loss the the exchequer of approximately €10 million.

The oil laundry located in a commercial premises in Aghafad, Co Monaghan had the capacity to launder 15 million litres of fuel per annum. 40,000 litres of laundered product, bags of bleaching agent, four upright filters, additional ancillary equipment and a Mercedes car were seized.

A bulk grain lorry with a concealed tank, used for delivering the laundered product, was also seized. Thousands of litres of toxic waste were discovered at the site. Two men, one aged 54 and one aged 47, both from Co Louth, were arrested and are currently being questioned at Carrickmacross Garda Station.

In a simultaneous operation in Muff, Louth, an oil laundry with the capacity to launder approximately 5 million litres of fuel per annum was uncovered. Bleaching earth, a quantity of oil, two vans and a lorry with a concealed tank were seized.

These operations were the result of surveillance activity carried out by Revenue’s Customs Service and form part of Revenue’s on-going crackdown on laundered fuel.

In a statement the Revenue Commissioners said it would like to remind motorists and the public that they should be aware of the risks posed to their vehicles by using laundered fuel.

“It also takes much needed funds from the Exchequer; hurts legitimate trade and of course it is funding criminal activity,” it added.

Related: 20,000 litres of laundered fuel seized at Dublin Port>
Read: Explainer: What is laundered fuel?>

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