South Armagh illegal fuel raid finds tonnes of waste

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Nearly 80 tonnes of toxic waste have been removed from farm buildings in south Armagh after the discovery of a diesel laundering plant.

Customs and police officers searched a disused farm in the Cullyhanna area on Tuesday.

Customs said the plant was capable of producing about 24m litres of illegal fuel and evading almost £15m in lost duty and taxes every year.

The plant was dismantled and the waste safely removed.

HM Customs' Mike Parkinson said: "The volume of toxic waste we uncovered at this laundering plant is staggering and shows the total disregard that these criminals have for the environment.

"We have also stopped a large amount of illicit fuel entering the legitimate market, preventing further revenue loss and helping legitimate traders fight unfair competition."

Filling station raided

In a separate incident on Monday, a 24-year-old man from Antrim was arrested after Customs and police raided a filling station in the area.

Officers discovered a van with concealed tanks delivering over 2,000 litres of suspected illegal fuel.

Forecourt pumps, an underground storage tank, business records and a small amount of cash were also seized during the operation.

The man has since been released on bail.

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