HC Deb 01 December 1998 vol 321 c153W
Mr. Donaldson

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the smuggling of petroleum products into Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic. [61925]

Ms Hewitt

Both the Government and Customs are aware of the situation with the illegal importation of road fuel into Northern Ireland for resale and recognise that it is a serious problem which disadvantages legitimate traders. Customs are deploying resources and actively mounting investigations against those involved to counter the threat posed to the revenue and to the Northern Ireland business community. Customs are taking the lead on this issue but are acting in conjunction with other authorities, including the Royal Ulster Constabulary, to make seizures of oil tankers and vehicles carrying oil tanks filled with illegally imported fuel for resale. Whenever possible, cases are progressed with a view to criminal prosecution of the individuals involved.

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