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Oil laundering plant discovered in Monaghan

Customs officers uncovered a sophisticated oil laundering plant in Glaslough, seizing about 40,000 litres of product last night.

Containers of sludge at a fuel laundering plant. File photo.
Containers of sludge at a fuel laundering plant. File photo.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TWO MEN HAVE been arrested following a raid on an oil laundering plant in Monaghan last night.

Customs officers seized about 40,000 litres of product at the site in Glaslough. However, they said there was capacity to launder about 8 million litres of fuel per year with a potential loss to the Exchequer of €4 million.

A 40-foot tanker and lorry, van, forklift and a compressor were also seized during the raid.

At such plants, agricultural diesel is stripped of its dye and certain chemicals and sold on as road diesel – which is much more expensive. Agricultural diesel is subject to a special lower rate of tax, allowing the scammers to profit from the difference.

The two men in their thirties are from Northern Ireland and are currently being questioned at Monaghan Garda Station.

Revenue said the operation is part of its ongoing activities to tackle fuel fraud. Officials reminded motorists and the public that they should be aware of the risks posed to their vehicles by using laundered fuel.

The AA recently estimated that up to ten per cent of the total diesel market in Ireland could be laundered, saying the cost to the State coffers might be up to €200 million annually, while Fine Gael TD Ray Butler said the cost could be closer to €300 million.

Read: Laundered diesel fuel costing  State ‘up to €300million a year’>

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