Fianna Fail candidate for Dundalk South, Stephen Egan says he would like to see the scourge of fuel laundering and subsequent dumping of toxic sludge by-products eradicated.
The call comes after another a toxic sludge dumping incident in Haggardstown, one of many oover recent weeks.
“What we are currently seeing is actual “fuel arbitrage,” says Mr Egan.
“As an ex currency trader, arbitrage is basically buying a product in one market and selling it at a higher price in another market. It could be apples,bananas, euros or fuel.
“When you eliminate the arbitrage possibility by equalising the price of the product you are trading through either government intervention or market forces , arbitrage will cease.
“My idea is that if you equalise the price of green and red diesel , you eliminate the arbitrage and thus the trading in red versus green diesel as all profits from the trade will be eliminated.
“Price equalisiation is the ideal system or other ideas such as making farmers and other users of green diesel pay the VAT up front and then claim it back, but alot of users will complain about the associated transaction costs of this method i.e paper work and time.
“The price would not necessarily have to be the same , just close enough so that the cost to the launderers of actually laundering would mean they wouldnt make a profit. The price could be 1 euro to 1.03 or 2 to 2.03.
“My understanding from the legal perspective is that its been difficult to get prosecutions on fuel laundering even when brough though the courts and those who appear in court are lower down on the fuel chain in terms of the whole operating structure. The whole business is operated like a franchise just like McDonalds. Those with executive power in the criminal infrastructure sell or lease all the chemicals and equipment to franchisees, who are responsible to the actually laundering.
“The franchisees could be local criminals or just chancers wanting to make a quick buck.
Mr Egan also raises concerns about the amount of Garda time and resources that has been diverted from regular Garda work to fuel laundering duty.
“We must ask ourselves the question , are the resources being used up at a local level in terms of Garda and revenue officers time and clean up bills really worth it . With one brave stroke of a pen at government level resources could be saved and better used elsewhere. “