Arrests over '£3m fuel fraud' across southern England

Red fuel cans Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption HMRC said the filtered red diesel or kerosene could damage fuel pumps

Nine people have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in a £3m fuel fraud scheme.

The investigation centres on allegations kerosene and biofuel - bought without paying VAT - was sold to motorists as duty-paid road diesel.

The seven men and two women were held after raids involving 170 HM Revenue and Customs officers on 12 homes, five businesses and two petrol stations.

The raids took place in Sussex, Kent, East London, Hampshire and Somerset.

Those arrested, all detained on Wednesday, were three men and a woman from Hastings in East Sussex, a woman from Pulborough in West Sussex, two men from Belvedere in south-east London, a man from Romford, east London, and a man from Hayling Island in Hampshire.

They were questioned by the HMRC and have since been released on bail.

HMRC said laundered fuel was red diesel or kerosene filtered through chemicals or acids to remove markers and that the chemicals could damage vehicles and fuel pumps.

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