Fuel laundering – is enough being done?

March13 em1 Jim Allister
Jim Allister
TUV leader, Jim Allister has hit out at the Irish justice minister’s response to fuel laundering.
He said:  “How often do we not hear about HMRC finds of laundered fuels and laundering facilities, mostly in South Armagh, yet the conversion rate into convictions is abysmal.
“A recent answer to me from the justice minister confirms just how pitiful the judicial response has been.  Since April 2009 the total fines imposed have been a derisory £9916.  Nothing more than suspended sentences have been imposed and one defendant got his wrists slapped with a 200 hours community service order.
“The failure to bring anything other than a token number of prosecutions and sentences is a major concern. It seems you are more likely to spend time in prison if you block a road carrying a union flag, than if you cheat HM Revenue out of millions of pounds of tax. And coming from South Armagh seems to help!”
HM Revenue & Customs confirmed that in the last four financial years, including 2012-13 to date, fines of £9916, costs of £180, confiscation orders of £1,211,211 and a compensation order of £500 have been imposed. In addition, suspended prison sentences totalling 157 months have been given. Two hundred hours community service was imposed on one defendant whilst three people also received a serious crime prevention order on top of confiscation orders.