Midland men arrested for red diesel fraud
There are special rules that allow farmers to use red diesel to help grit and clear snow during extreme cold snaps. The legislation allows users of agricultural tractors, light agricultural vehicles and agricultural material handlers to use red diesel in their vehicles when gritting public roads.
However, in any other circumstances it is illegal to use red diesel on the open road. The UK and Irish Government have been working together to combat illegal fuel laundering where the red diesel (green in Ireland) is filtered to remove the coloured marker. A new marker is to be introduced which will make it much more difficult for fraudsters to clean the fuel.
Three men from the midlands were recently arrested on suspicion of involvement in an £800,000 fuel laundering operation. The investigation is focused on the purchase of rebated kerosene, commonly known as red diesel, and its sale to motorists as duty-paid road diesel.
Colin Booker, Assistant Director, HMRC said:
‘Using illicit fuel may seem like a bargain, but it deprives the government of tax revenue, and puts honest road fuel retailers at risk. But it’s not just about duty – kerosene can damage a vehicle’s engine, and the process of storing and selling illicit fuel from a makeshift ‘huckster’ site could potentially damage the environment.’