Co Monaghan: Large Fuel Laundering Plant Discovered Four Arrested

2 Sep

Four people have been arrested following the discovery of a large fuel laundering operation in Co Monaghan and raids on filling stations in five other counties.

 A number of fuel laundering operations have been uncovered in recent months

A number of fuel laundering operations have been uncovered in recent months
 
 Fuel from filling stations was seized

Fuel from filling stations was seized
 
Four people have been arrested after the discovery of a large fuel laundering operation in Co Monaghan and raids on filling stations in five other counties.

Thousands of litres of laundered fuel were seized at filling stations in in Roscommon, Galway, Offaly, Westmeath and Dublin.

Gardaí also uncovered a “significant oil laundering plant” was near Castleblaney in Co Monaghan.

The plant had the capacity to launder an estimated 18m litres of fuel per year. which Revenue said represented a potential loss to the Exchequer of €9m a year.

A laundering operation was under way at the time of the raid and around 95,000 litres laundered fuel were seized at the site.

Three tankers, two transit vans, a box lorry, a 40 foot tanker and an articulated truck were also recovered.

A man in his 30s from Northern Ireland was arrested at the scene.

The PSNI later carried out four searches in Armagh and Tyrone.

NEWS UPDATE: ADDITION:

An area of land near Dundalk is being searched following the discovery of animal carcasses, building waste and toxic diesel sludge left over from laundering operations.

Officials from the Dept of Agriculture participated in the operation yesterday

Officials from the Dept of Agriculture participated in the operation yesterday

An area of land near Dundalk is being searched following the discovery of toxic diesel sludge left over from laundering operations.

Environmental staff from Louth County Council, backed up by gardaí and officials from the Department of Agriculture and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, spent yesterday at the site after finding what appeared to be a large pond of diesel sludge.

The initial search also revealed signs that animal carcasses, tyres and building waste had been dumped on the 140-acre site close to the village of Knockbridge.

Material was removed from the site and is to be tested to establish what exactly has been dumped there over a period of time.

Because the site is located within 1km of the Cavan Hill water treatment plant, Louth County Council has conducted additional testing to ensure there has been no harmful impact on the water supply to households in Dundalk and its environs.

The water treated at Cavan Hill is taken from the River Fane upstream of the site and, according to a spokesperson, there has been no contamination of the water supply.

Additional steps to reduce the risk of pollution are being taken by removing what is believed to be oil and diesel sludge from the site with the focus of today’s activity to be on environmental protection.

Des Foley, Director of Services with Louth Local Authorities, said that once their work on site is completed, there will be two separate but related phases – the collation of evidence with a view to a possible prosecution and planning for extensive remedial works on the land which may have been damaged significantly.

”For the moment, we are keen to reassure the public that there is currently no evidence to suggest that the activity that we suspect may have taken place at this location has impacted adversely on the water going to and from the treatment plant nearby,” Mr Foley said.

Sinn Féin Councillor Tomás Sharkey has welcomed the operation and praised individuals from the area who highlighted the problem.

“They deserve the thanks of the whole community. They are helping to stop environmental terrorism,” he said.

Related Stories

Louth search for highly-toxic sludge

Keywords:  

louth, laundering, diesel, department of agriculture

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