Northern Ireland

Crossmaglen, south Armagh, fuel plant raided

Fuel tanks
Image caption 73,000 litres of illegal fuel were recovered

A laundering plant capable of producing more than 16.4 million litres of illegal fuel a year has been dismantled by customs.

The plant in Crossmaglen, south Armagh, was raided by police, customs and Environment Agency officers on Wednesday night.

It was found within a tank storage area.

Officers recovered 73,000 litres of fuel and also found more than 20 tonnes of toxic waste at the site.

It is being dealt with by the Environment Agency.

Customs said the illegal fuel would have resulted in £10.6m in lost taxes and duty.

John Whiting, assistant director of criminal investigation at customs, said: "Every illegal laundering operation typically generates tonnes of toxic waste, involving significant safety and environmental issues.

"As taxpayers and local ratepayers, not only are we missing out on the stolen tax that ends up in the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying the substantial clean-up and disposal costs."