'Stretched' diesel seized in Caerphilly county garage raid

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A garage selling cheap diesel has had 2,800 litres of fuel seized after it was found to be adulterated in a process known as "stretching".

Ten customers' vehicles were impounded at a Caerphilly county garage in the raid by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Drivers had to pay penalties for testing positive for contaminated fuel as well as red diesel which is normally used in agricultural vehicles.

HMRC said contaminated diesel can damage vehicles.

Road fuel testing officers visited the site where diesel was being sold at £1.25 a litre and found two large fuel tanks containing what purported to be duty-paid white diesel.

Start Quote

White diesel selling at 15p less than the normal price might seem like a fantastic deal, but in this case it was no bargain”

End Quote Stuart Fenton HM Revenue and Customs

Checks showed the fuel contained large quantities of kerosene, which attracts a lower rate of duty.

HMRC returned and seized and removed 990 litres of the contaminated fuel, 990 litres of red diesel and 820 litres of kerosene.

A spokesperson said penalties are due to be issued for fuel "stretching" and for failing to register as a registered dealer in controlled oils.

Stuart Fenton from HMRC's South West and Wales Road Fuel Testing Unit said: "White diesel selling at 15p less than the normal price might seem like a fantastic deal, but in this case it was no bargain.

"Kerosene makes white diesel more combustible, and prolonged use would undoubtedly damage the engine of any vehicle.

"Legitimate businesses are already facing difficult times, and it is wrong that they should be undercut by those involved in this type of activity."

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