Twelve cross-border diesel laundering ‘fronts’ discovered
Report by British Irish Parliamentary Assembly understood to express alarm at the extent and scale of the fuel laundering business along the border
23 February 2015
Twelve diesel laundering “fronts” have been discovered on the border between South Armagh and the Republic.
A committee of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly found the illegal businesses while on a fact-finding mission.
The group of parliamentarians will now report its findings in Dublin today. The Irish Times reports the group is expected to express alarm at the extent and scale of the fuel laundering business along the border.
A three-man delegation from the committee saw two white unmarked 40-foot tankers at one of the premises it visited. Several other smaller tankers were also spotted by the committee, which visited the area incognito a fortnight ago.
The group met police officers on both sides of the border who deal directly with the problem, as well as senior Garda and Police Service of Northern Ireland representatives.
It is believed that the report will confirm cross-border co-operation between the law enforcement agencies and officials is excellent but it will raise concerns about the level of resources being devoted to address the problem of cross-border illicit trade.
The report is understood to call for an all-island approach to deal with the problem, involving the revenue authorities on both sides of the border.
It will also recommend that a permanent full-time task force be established to eliminate the activities of organised crime gangs along the border, with staff from all the relevant agencies including criminal asset recovery agencies.
The difficulty in bringing prosecutions and obtaining convictions against those suspected of being involved in large scale illicit trade is also expected to be raised by the report.