Fighting Fuel Laundering
Three “pop-up” filling stations selling laundered fuel have been closed down in Belfast. John Whiting, HMRC’s head criminal investigation for Northern Ireland, reported to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster that the sites were selling pure kerosene as diesel.
Commenting on the stations that which had been closed down, Mr Whiting said: “We’re aware there are queues of cars trying to get into these places. I have been to one of these premises when it was working. The public were buying what they thought was diesel, when, in fact, it was kerosene. That is very definitely going to damage the engine.
Topaz is joining the fight against the Republic’s rise in fuel laundering. A recent report estimated that around 12% of the Republic of Ireland’s diesel market was now being supplied from illegal sources.
Topaz director. Paul Candon, said: “While low prices may seem very appealing in the current environment, consumers should always purchase their fuels from trusted retailers, as the cost of repairing an engine damaged by laundered fuels can run into thousands of Euros.”
Candon also urged authorities to clamp down on illegal trade. “Every tanker of illegal fuel costs the government 20k Euros in lost taxes,” he said. “If the government was to eliminate fuel laundering, it would raise up to 200m Euros in taxes from licensed and law abiding retailers.”