Government officials are warning drivers in Northern Ireland to think twice about buying laundered diesel, which is not only illegal but can also cause serious damage to vehicles.
The warning follows a joint operation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and police in which a search of commercial and private premises resulted in the seizure of 3,850 litres of fuel, two lorries and eight cars.
The operation was the culmination of an investigation into a fuel laundering and smuggling fraud targeted at customers in Northern Ireland.
HMRC believes that this illegal operation may have been supplying the product to many commercial traders and retailers across the country.
John Whiting, HMRC assistant director criminal investigation said: "This operation involved laundered green diesel being transported and sold on to commercial users throughout Northern Ireland. These illegal sites and those involved are ripping off honest retailers, creating a cheap and unregulated supply that they cannot compete with.
"Products of this nature are being sold at a reduced price and motorists may think they are getting a bargain because it is cheaper, but I would caution them to think again as this type of fuel will cause damage to your vehicle."
Copyright © PA Business 2008