HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has shut down two illegal bio-diesel fuel production plants in Ayrshire.
HMRC officers uncovered the illicit bio-diesel fuel plants after raiding two storage facilities in Fenwick and Kilmarnock.
The officers seized more than 3,600 litres of illicit bio-diesel, 600 litres of methanol, fuel production equipment and tell-tale business records.
Officers also impounded a vehicle which was later restored to its owner upon payment of £560.
Illegal bio-diesel sites create a supply of cheap, unregulated fuel at prices ordinary petrol stations cannot compete with – costing taxpayers millions each year in unpaid duty and VAT which HMRC says could be theoretically used to provide essential community services.
HMRC says that motorists buying cheap fuel should think about the real costs. Although drivers may believe they are getting a good buy they really have no guarantee that what they are putting into their car engines won’t end up damaging them.
The news comes at a time when the UK exchequer continues to place the highest fuel duty on petrol in Europe – calls have been made to decrease the level of duty on fuel in the coming budget.