Wednesday, March 13 11:21:47
Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the retail sector, has welcomed a major operation this morning targeting illegal fuel operations.
The raids on premises on both sides of the border involved the Criminal Assets Bureau, Gardai and Revenue personnel in ten counties.
Retail Ireland estimates that the illegal fuel trade costs the Exchequer at least E150 million in lost taxes every year.
Commenting on the issue, Retail Ireland Chairman and Topaz Retail Director Frank Gleeson said: "As well as depriving the State of much needed revenue, the process of laundering fuel is an environmental hazard, polluting local water with harmful consequences for livestock. Illegal diesel is also seriously damaging to cars. The scale of the lost revenue means it makes economic sense to invest more in tackling the problem."
"Legitimate fuel retailers are already struggling to survive in a difficult economic environment. Their livelihood's are being threatened because they are being undercut by cheaper laundered diesel. The inevitable consequence of this is fewer hours worked, job losses and in some cases business closures."