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Snippet Contents:

People have been left in a dreadful position.
I listened to "Today with Sean O'Rourke" on which a journalist did not hold back. He named who, through his investigations, was responsible for this. All roads led to offshoots of the Provisional IRA. It was something else to hear what he had to say. It is using the money to buy properties in England, the USA and Ireland. It is estimated that a laundering operation in Monaghan has resulted in a loss of up to €10 million in taxes and excise duties to the State. We were told the conglomerate had a stake in 140 filling stations around the country, including supermarkets.
We need a massive operation to deal with the issue. We need the Army, the Customs service and the Garda because the Exchequer, as well as the ordinary person who has nowhere to turn and the legitimate trader, are losing out. Every time this fuel is sold at filling stations legitimate traders are losing out on business, not to mention their reputations, as people do not know where to turn. I have attended meetings in my county at which people asked me where they should go to buy petrol. That is shocking to say about consumer confidence in this day and age.
Given that there is a lot of information available, the issue has to be tackled and the operations shut down. I would like to think the ill-gotten gains, filling stations, tankers and profits would all be confiscated and a fund established for those who are out of pocket because of this activity. Those involved should be subject to the full rigour of the criminal justice system and put where they should be. It seems that some gangs are operating above the law, which is not good enough for ordinary law-abiding citizens who are at a loss and for whom the State can provide no solutions. The first step has to be law enforcement. Those involved should be named and shamed in order that people will know which filling stations are involved. They are filling up their tanks innocently and coming out with damaged vehicles. I understand it takes only one fill to damage a car.
I have raised the issue of NAMA, transparency, accountability, the treatment of developers and, above all, value for money for taxpayers on numerous occasions with the Minister in the House, at committee meetings and during Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meetings. Representatives of NAMA appeared before the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on 22 October. I was present and said what I had to say. After the meeting I received threatening correspondence which was anonymous, as all cowards send such correspondence. Subsequent to the meeting I tabled parliamentary questions. I am well aware that the Minister does not prepare the replies. I asked about the Michael O'Flynn loan sales, an issue which was discussed by NAMA. The response I received was one of the most pitiful I had seen and the staff have something to answer for. They could only give me information based on what NAMA had stated at the committee. It did not need to be repeated to me.