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Eastenders Laundry Gets Tax Fuelled Tug

29 July 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Seven men have been arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and four tonnes of toxic waste removed, after two fuel laundering plants were discovered in Essex on Wednesday 27 July in early morning raids.

As part of a multi-agency investigation into a suspected £1.4 million fuel fraud, more than 50 officers from HMRC and the Environment Agency, carried out simultaneous searches of three business and six residential addresses in south Essex and Kent.

Between them, the two laundering plants had the potential to produce three million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading an estimated £1.4 million in revenue. The laundering plants have been dismantled and 36,000 litres of suspected laundered fuel seized, along with three fuel tankers, two vans and £28,000 cash.

Brett Wilkinson, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, MRC, said: “The toxic waste from fuel laundering poses a real threat to the environment and costs thousands of pounds to dispose of safely. Taxpayers are not only missing out on the stolen tax but we also have to fund the substantial clean up and disposal costs.

The laundering of red diesel - a low-tax fuel primarily for agricultural use - has historically involved its filtration through chemicals or acids to remove government markers and it is then sold on as road fuel to unsuspecting motorists.


Details of the arrests

Two men were arrested in the Purfleet area and a property was searched in the Thurrock area. One man was arrested at an address in the Hornchurch area of greater London; another was arrested in Brentwood; another in the east London area; and one in Ilford. Three business premises were also searched in the Maldon, Chelmsford and Gravesend areas.

Picture: An Eastenders laundry

Article written by Robin Snow | Published 29 July 2016


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