An illegal diesel laundering plant has polluted a rural part of South Armagh, it was revealed tonight.
It had the capacity to produce up to 10 million litres of illicit fuel a year, evading paying £6m (€7.25m) tax.
The plant was on scrubland metres from the Concession Road near Crossmaglen.
Mike Connolly, director of Revenue and Customs’ specialist investigations, said: “The pollution it caused shows the total disregard criminals have for our land and waterways. Indiscriminate dumping of the waste from the laundering process causes severe damage to our environment.
“Taxpayers and local ratepayers are then obliged to meet the costs of the clean up.”
Bleaching agents and three tonnes of toxic waste were removed. Officials seized 14,000 litres of laundered diesel, an oil tanker, storage tanks, trailers and laundering equipment.