In an intelligence-led operation which concluded on Thursday morning, Revenue enforcement officers supported by the Garda Regional Support Unit uncovered an oil laundering plant in Monaghan.
They seized two oil tankers, 20,000 litres of laundered mineral oil, 140 bags of bleaching earth, ancillary equipment associated with oil laundering and cash, bank drafts and cheques in excess of €60,000 in the Castleblaney area.
Simultaneous searches carried out at other locations in Cavan and Monaghan resulted in the seizure of 14,000 litres of laundered diesel. The illicit product was seized at a filling station and was also found to be in use at two haulage companies.
The illegal activities represent a potential loss to the exchequer of €1.2m per annum assuming the illicit product would have displaced legitimate diesel in the market place.
Investigations are ongoing with a view to prosecution.
Mineral oil attracts a significantly lower rate of excise duty and VAT and its use in ordinary road vehicles is illegal. Fraudsters attempt to remove the fuel marker and sell it at a higher price, as ordinary road diesel.