Seized fuel tanker stolen from Dundalk barracks

Vehicle was impounded after raid on Monaghan fuel laundering plant

A tanker containing 20,000 litres of seized fuel was stolen from an army barracks in Co Louth yesterday.

A tanker containing 20,000 litres of seized fuel was stolen from an army barracks in Co Louth yesterday.

 

A tanker containing 20,000 litres of seized fuel was stolen from an army barracks in Co Louth yesterday.

The Army press office confirmed that a vehicle that had been seized by customs and parked in Aiken Military barracks was “allegedly stolen in the early hours of Sunday 26th May 2013.”

The rigid tanker had been seized by customs last Wednesday in a search of a commercial premises at Longfield, Co Monaghan.

It contained 20,000 litres of fuel which would, if legitimately sold, be worth close to €30,000.

It was one of a number of vehicles seized when customs raided two locations in Monaghan that day – the main discovery was a diesel laundering plant at Drumacon capable of laundering 15 million litres of fuel a year; which equated to a loss to the Exchequer of €8 million a year.

The tanker that was seized and subsequently stored at the army barracks was part of a follow up operation that also resulted in a trailer with a concealed tank and 68 bags of bleaching earth also being seized.

The soldiers who were on duty at the entrance had no advance warning before the tanker was driven at high speed through the gates at 2.10am. The army press office said no military personnel were injured. Cast iron gates and a barrier at the entrance to the base were damaged.

A garda spokesman said the force was investigating the circumstances of the theft while the Revenue Commissioners would only confirm they had reported it to the gardaí.

Louth TD Peter Fitzpatrick (FG) said it was a sign that the ongoing clampdown on diesel laundering along the border was working and “somebody was getting hurt in the pocket to go to these lengths.”

“It is very alarming that somebody is willing to go into an army barracks where people are armed and would have the cheek to ram the gate,” he said. “They are thugs and diesel laundering is costing us hundreds of millions of euro a year.”