Fintona man gets suspended jail sentence for illegal fuel plant

A Fintona man, who built a fuel laundering plant in a shed, has been sentenced for excise fraud, after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

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

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.

Speaking after the case, Steve Tracey, assistant director, 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.”

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

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