Man held over fuel tampering scam

A man has been arrested after petrol samples from a number of filling stations in Northern Ireland were found to contain excessive levels of additives designed to illegally boost profits.

Investigations into a possible petrol tampering scam led to the seizure of business records and around 6,000 litres of fuel from a vendor and a chemical supply company in Co Down, according to HM Revenue and Customs.

Assistant director of criminal investigation John Whiting said: "We are investigating the possibility of the deliberate contamination of petrol in Northern Ireland.

"As well as evading duty any attempt to adulterate petrol is a dangerous business and would be a disturbing trend."

Mr Whiting warned that methanol is toxic and highly flammable, and using it as fuel risks corrosion to the engine. But he also warned that there were potentially greater dangers still in the form of risks to health.

Investigations into the suspected fraud are continuing and anyone with information is urged to contact customs officers.

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