Tide turning on fuel laundering - Dickson

Stewart Dickson
Stewart Dickson
Have your say

East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has expressed hopes that the tide is turning against fuel laundering.

The Alliance Party representative was speaking after a series of new measures were revealed to help stamp out fuel laundering in Northern Ireland, particularly in border areas.

Speaking in an Assembly motion calling for a joined up approach to the issue, Mr Dickson challenged those who see fuel laundering as a victimless crime.

He pointed to the criminal gangs terrorising their communities, cars damaged by sub-grade fuel, and the environmental damage inflicted by criminals who dump “toxic sludge with wanton disregard” in our countryside.

Earlier this month, the UK and Irish Governments introduced a new product which will be used to mark rebated fuels. Rebated fuel is strictly limited to agriculture, construction and heating oil use and excise duty on it is charged at a lower rate than standard fuel duty.

“[This move] makes fuel laundering all but impossible and uneconomical for the criminals involved,” Mr Dickson said.

“Ultimately however, the impact on fuel laundering will be seen in the future months and I expect HMRC to continue to work with the PSNI and authorities across the island to make sure this new initiative is effective.”