Members of the gardaí and customs have discovered a diesel-laundering plant in Co Monaghan. It is understood that the plant at Drumboat, Inniskeen had the capability to launder as much as 20 million litres of diesel a year.
It is thought that the laundered diesel would have caused a potential loss to the Exchequer of €10m in excise and duties.
Officers apparently discovered three oil tankers, a mobile oil laundry, two stationary tanks and 50,000 litres of laundered fuel at the site. Gardai arrested a 42-year-old man at the scene for breaches of the environmental waste legislation, although he was released without charge a short time later.
Gardai say that they are still investigating the plant and that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Meanwhile Revenue Commissioners believe that the plant was operating for more than a year. They say organised criminal gangs are setting up front companies to source and launder fuel, which is then sold through petrol stations they control. It is thought that these gangs control at least 150 of these petrol stations across the country.
However Customs officials have described the armed operation as a “significant” success.