Customs officials raid ‘illicit diesel plant’ in Upminster
- Credit: Archant
A suspected illicit diesel plant has been found in Upminster.
The makeshift industrial unit, discovered by customs officials and police at an undisclosed location, is said to be part of a plot to evade an estimated £12million in duty through the laundering of 20million litres of diesel a year.
Illicit fuel costs the government millions of pounds annually and production typically creates tonnes of toxic waste.
About 14,000 litres of the diesel, as well as 136 industrial containers and 50 gallons oil drums thought to contain waste were found at “commercial premises” in Upminster, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said.
Pat Curtis, national oils co-ordinator, said: “Every illegal diesel laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste and robs UK taxpayers by evading fuel duty.
You may also want to watch:
“Taxpayers are not only missing out on the stolen tax that ends up the pockets of the criminals, but will have to pay the substantial clean-up and disposal costs.
“Buying illicit fuel not only funds crime, it supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities and we will continue to work with our partners in the police to target this criminality, which costs millions in lost taxes every year.”
- 1 Concern as drop kerb charges surge by 40%
- 2 Mum's anger amid mice infestation: 'Housing association fobbed it off'
- 3 Man and woman assaulted at Upminster Station
- 4 Romford has one of UK's best retail recoveries, footfall data suggests
- 5 Romford new age shop to reopen again after closure years ago
- 6 Shoppers and traders enjoy Romford market and high street in the sunshine
- 7 Romford add to management team as Boro win 11-goal Waltham Abbey friendly
- 8 Harold Wood residents delighted as deer graze outside their windows
- 9 Brookside Theatre to reopen with Peter Rabbit musical and Hairspray
- 10 Mayoral election 2021: how will candidates improve east London?
HMRC said the Upminster plant, discovered on November 20, was believed to be part of a bigger operation, with other sites in West Thurrock and Merseyside. A spokeswoman said investigations with Kent Police were ongoing.
Diesel laundering involves processing lower taxed red or green fuel, dyed so it can be monitored by customs, to remove the colour. Chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and can damage pumps in diesel cars.