Northern Ireland

Ian Paisley calls illegal fuel levels 'staggering'

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has said the amount of laundered fuel sold in Northern Ireland is "staggering".

Mr Paisley raised the issue at Northern Ireland Questions in the House of Commons.

He pointed to a recent HMRC report that the estimated sales of illegal diesel have risen from 12% of all diesel sold to 25%.

"That is a staggering increase and demands that action is taken," said Mr Paisley.

"HMRC must now place a much greater emphasis on looking to new measures which can properly and permanently mark diesel for non-road use so that it cannot be stripped of this marking and then sold as counterfeit," he added.

"Currently the practice of laundering diesel not only robs the Treasury of huge amounts of revenue but also has a very detrimental environmental impact with the criminals engaged in the practice often dumping the toxic sludge produced in this process in the countryside."