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Smuggling: Fuel Oil

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many vehicles were seized in Northern Ireland consequent on their use for cross-border fuel smuggling in each of the last three years; what the monetary value was of the fuel seized from those vehicles; how many arrests were made in connection with those seizures; and how many convictions there were as a result of those arrests. (314485)

The specific information as requested is not available. The following numbers of vehicles were seized in Northern Ireland for all types of hydrocarbon oil offences; however, it is not possible to identify the number of seizures related to cross-border smuggling:

Vehicles seized

2008-09

482

2007-08

844

2006-07

1,199

The following quantities of fuel were seized in Northern Ireland, this covers all types of fuel therefore it is not possible to place a monetary value on the quantity of fuel seized:

Million litres

2008-09

1.09

2007-08

0.82

2006-07

0.84

Details of the numbers of arrests relating to these seizures is not available. The number of convictions in Northern Ireland for all types of hydrocarbon oils offences are as follows :

Number

2008-09

10

2007-08

3

2006-07

4

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what percentage of detections of fuel smuggling in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) England and Wales were made by (i) the police and (ii) HM Revenue and Customs in each of the last three years; (314538)

(2) how many vehicles in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) England and Wales were found to be running on red diesel illegally in each of the last three years.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not keep a central record of fuel smuggling detections made by other agencies and therefore cannot estimate the percentage of detections made by the police.

The numbers of vehicles containing illicit fuels that were detected in the last three years HMRC are shown in the following table:

Northern Ireland

England and Wales

2006-07

1,190

2,683

2007-08

1,158

2,758

2008-09

485

3,117

These figures include those vehicles found to be running illegally on red diesel, but HMRC does not maintain any central record of detections solely of red diesel.