'Slow pace' in tackling fuel fraud

A group of MPs has urged Revenue and Customs officials to employ the latest technology to crack down on criminals selling rebated fuel at more expensive prices.

In 2009/10 figures estimated that £70 million in tax revenue was lost in Northern Ireland from gangs and paramilitaries who sell reduced agricultural diesel to ordinary drivers.

MPs in the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee have expressed concern that the current ways to tackle the issue is slow and lacking progress.

Chairman Laurence Robertson said: "We are bitterly disappointed at the seemingly slow pace of progress on acquiring effective technologies to tackle fuel crime."

A report from the committee found that district councils have spent £330,000 in the last five years to remove waste from the engines.

Revenue and Customs has been advised by the committee to implement the newest rebated fuel marker technology as quickly as it can.

Copyright Press Association 2012