Illicit fuel seized in N Ireland

Revenue and customs officers have seized more than 90,000 litres of illicit fuel as part of a huge cross-border operation in Ireland.

A number of retail outlets in counties Antrim, Armagh and Down were found to have a total of 61,800 litres of illegal fuel by Northern Ireland customs officers.

This led to the arrest of one man, who has since been released pending further inquiries, and the seizure of six adapted vehicles, a number of tanks, pumps and fuel pods.

The fuel seized was a mixture of red and green diesel and is believed to have lost the UK Exchequer around £45,000.

Over the border in counties Cavan, Donegal and Louth, officers seized 29,000 litres of fuel at a cost of nearly 16,000 euro (£14,000) to the Irish Exchequer.

Southern customs officers seized two UK-registered vehicles and a number of people were questioned.

The operation was launched in response to the Cross-Border Fuel Fraud Enforcement Group, which was set up last July.

Launched by MP Paul Goggins, chair of the Organised Crime Task Force, the aim was to "disrupt and dismantle the fuel fraudsters, strip them of their cash and put them before the courts".

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