Sean Kelleher, Customs Manager in the Border region has told the Dundalk Democrat that new laws will help make life difficult fro criminal gangs who make millions from laundering fuel.
Mr Kelleher told the paper: “A number of provisions for better control of the mineral oil supply chain were introduced in the 2012 Finance Act.
“From 1 October 2012, the requirement for a mineral oil trader’s licence was extended to traders who produce, hold, deal in, or deliver marked gas oil or marked kerosene, and to the premises or places concerned.
“A number of other changes have also been made which apply to licences for petrol and auto-diesel since 1 July 2012, and to licences for marked gas oil and marked kerosene from 1 October 2012. Revenue also introduced new regulations governing the keeping and delivery of mineral oils, and accounting for them. These include the introduction of a new monthly electronic return to be made by mineral oil traders.
“Over the last two years, Revenue’s Customs Service has uncovered 20 oil laundering plants. Revenue treats the matter very seriously and is vigilant in identifying, uncovering and shutting down oil laundering plants. Recent successes are evidence of our committment to target oil laundering and the trade in illicit fuel.
“Revenue employs a broad range of compliance and enforcement strategies to detect illicit practices involving mineral oils. These strategies include: ongoing analysis of the nature and extent of the problem; development and sharing of intelligence with agencies on both sides of the border; development of analytics and deployment of detection technologies; optimum deployment of resources to intercept illicit product and to prosecute those involved; intelligence driven operations using covert surveillance to identify oil laundry locations; and physical sampling at selected road checkpoint locations and forecourts,” he concluded.