Cash seized in diesel fraud probe

Thousands of pounds in cash have been seized during an investigation into fraud involving agricultural diesel.

Two men from Armagh were arrested as part of the ongoing investigation, conducted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in Northern Ireland.

The arrests followed raids on private addresses and filling stations in County Armagh and Belfast. Sniffer dogs uncovered more than £40,000 in cash in a kitchen cupboard at one of the private addresses.

Further cash seizures were made at the commercial premises, where fuel, business records and computers were also seized.

The operation is linked to an investigation involving the suspected laundering and distribution of illicit fuel across Northern Ireland. The scam involves laundering red diesel destined for agricultural use and then selling it at a reduced price.

Green diesel is the Republic of Ireland equivalent of the UK’s red diesel.

Motorists buying laundered fuel might think they are getting a bargain because it is cheaper. But HMRC investigator John Whiting said it could damage vehicles.

“Those involved in the illegal fuel trade are not providing a public service,” he added. “It is organised criminality, which impacts on local communities and makes it more difficult for legitimate businesses to compete.”

Both men were questioned and have been released on bail. Investigations are continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call 0800 59 5000.

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