A van used to launder red diesel has been seized by authorities.
Officers from HMRC and Devon and Cornwall Police discovered the transit van parked near Chudleigh in Devon.
As officers approached the van they found a 25 litre drum full of red diesel on one side of the vehicle and on the other a second drum containing laundered fuel with the red dye removed. Inside the van they discovered storage tanks, cat litter for filtering and a pump powered by a car battery.
HMRC said the mobile plant was capable of producing approximately 75,000 litres of illegal fuel a year with a loss to the Treasury of £52,000 in unpaid duty.
HMRC spokesman Bob Gaiger said investigations were ongoing.
"Any motorist using illegal road fuel runs the risk of damaging their engine and having their vehicles seized. So filling up with fuel that is being sold at a cheap price could in fact cost more in the long run. This fraud could be happening near you, with the profits from it funding other criminal activity."
Using such fuel can increase the chances of drivers having to turn to theirbreakdown cover for help. Laundered fuel is normally red diesel which has been filtered through chemicals or acids to remove the government marker.
The chemicals and acids remain in the fuel and damage fuel pumps in diesel cars. Red diesel is marked gas oil or a rebated fuel for use in agricultural machinery, and not for use in road vehicles.
Copyright Press Association 2012