Approximately 15,000L of laundered ‘green diesel’ have been seized by Revenue officers at a premises in Arklow, Co. Wicklow.
The seizure included 10,000L in an oil tanker and approximately 5,000L in a tank on the premises. The oil tanker transporting the laundered fuel was also seized, according to Revenue.
Investigations are ongoing in the case, with a view to criminal prosecution.
The Revenue has prioritised action on the illicit fuel trade over the last number of years.
A “wide-ranging strategy” to tackle the problem of fuel fraud, particularly fuel laundering, has been successfully implemented, Revenue added.
As part of this strategy, a new fuel marker (Accutrace S10) was introduced here, in conjunction with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK.
When the marker is detected, appropriate enforcement action can be taken, according to Revenue.
The new marker was a significant contributor to the detection and seizure today, it added.
Revenue confirmed that the coloured dye had been laundered and removed from the fuel.
However, residues from the new fuel marker were present and enabled the successful detection of the laundered fuel.
The illicit trade in mineral oil products, and particularly the laundering of marked diesel and kerosene, is a serious threat to the Exchequer, Revenue said.
In addition to the loss to the Exchequer, oil laundering undermines the competitiveness of legitimate businesses, damages the environment, damages consumers’ vehicles and helps to sustain organised criminal networks, it added.
Farmers fined for misuse of ‘green diesel’
A number of farmers recently appeared on the tax defaulters, released by the Revenue Commissioners, for the misuse of marked mineral oil or ‘green diesel’ in the final quarter of 2016.
Three farmers were fined for the offence in the last three months of 2016. These farmers were fined between €2,500 and €4,000.