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Suspended sentence for man who built illegal fuel plant in Tyrone shed

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The fuel laundering plant inside the shed.

A Co Tyrone man who built a fuel laundering plant in a shed had been handed a suspended prison sentence for excise fraud.

HMRC officers discovered the laundering plant in June 2017 in a shed owned by Barry McGirr, 43, at his home address in Garvallagh Road, Fintona, along with 400 litres of residue – the by-product of the laundering process.

McGirr was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for two years when he appeared at Omagh Magistrates Court on Tuesday 4 September 2018.

The plant consisted of two intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and a pump. Officers also found bleaching earth and cat litter which were used as laundering agents. All equipment was removed from the site.

Steve Tracey, Assistant Director at Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Fuel fraudsters are stealing millions of pounds every year in Northern Ireland. We will continue our fight against the illegal fuel market, which threatens the legitimate fuel traders and gives criminals an unfair advantage over honest businesses.

“HMRC will work to level the playing field for the tax paying majority. If you have information on suspected tax fraud, don’t let the dishonest few prosper and report it to online to HMRC or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

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The fuel laundering plant inside the shed.
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The fuel laundering plant inside the shed.
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The fuel laundering plant inside the shed.