Illicit fuel plants dismantled in Aberdeenshire

Some of the equipment seized in the raid

TWO illicit bio-diesel production plants have been dismantled by HM Revenue & Customs following an operation in Peterhead.

HMRC, assisted by the Grampian Police, raided two storage facilities near Peterhead town centre.  They uncovered the plants last Thursday, February 9.

During the searches officers seized nearly 4,000 litres of illicit fuel, 750 litres of methanol, 200 litres of kerosene, pumps, equipment and business records.

Making biodiesel is a potentially hazardous process that should only be carried out in controlled conditions by people with the proper training and experience. At the very least a poorly made product could seriously damage a vehicle engine.

Graeme Anderson, Assistant Director, HMRC Specialist Investigations, said: “Illegal bio-diesel sites and those involved are creating a cheap and unregulated supply that honest producers cannot compete with.

“They rob taxpayers of millions each year in unpaid duty and VAT, funds that could be used for essential services in our communities.

“Before buying cheap fuel motorists need to consider the real costs – although you may think you are getting a bargain, you really have no idea what you are paying for.

“Buying illicit fuel not only funds crime, but it also supports and encourages these dangerous activities within our communities.”

Two men were questioned by HMRC and investigations are continuing.

“Anyone with information about this kind of activity or fuel misuse in their area should contact our free telephone hotline 0800 59 5000.”