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Eight arrested in £3m Northern Ireland/England fuel smuggling operation

NewsBy Jamie McDowell
Eight arrested in £3m Northern Ireland/England fuel smuggling operation

Eight people have been arrested by police investigating a joint fuel smuggling scam in Northern Ireland and England.

Four men were arrested in Northern Ireland with another four being detained by cops in England, with 55,000 litres of fuel being seized by HM Customs and Revenue.

Six properties were searched in total across Northern Ireland.

A 37-year-old and a 45-year-old from County Armagh were arrested, as well as a 47-year-old from County Antrim and a 56-year-old from County Down.

In England, a 37-year-old was arrested in Manchester with a 34, 54 and 72-year-old arrested in Merseyside.

Seven of the men have been released on bail pending further investigations.

Sandra Smith, of HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service, said: “Fuel fraud costs millions of pounds in lost duty every year, meaning the public lose out on vital funds for essential services, and it creates an uneven playing field for honest businesses.

“We will continue to work with our partners to tackle this fraud and ask anyone with information about this type of activity to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”