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Written Answers - Garda Operations

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 77.  Deputy Derek Keating Information on Derek Keating Zoom on Derek Keating  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he will give details of the plan of action of An Garda Síochána to deal with the problem of cross-Border fuel smuggling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6511/12]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter The House will appreciate that it is the Revenue Commissioners who take the lead role in investigating fuel laundering and smuggling in this jurisdiction and are supported in that role by An Garda Síochána. An Garda Síochána remains fully committed to providing the necessary support to the Revenue Commissioners. Searches are regularly undertaken by members of An Garda Síochána, at the behest of the Revenue Commissioners as part of intelligence-led operations led by Customs. These searches have resulted in the arrest of persons involved in such activities, significant seizures of diesel and the closure of diesel-laundering plants, particularly in border counties. These operations also target individuals involved in the dumping of illegal waste products associated with the laundering of diesel. Furthermore, the Criminal Assets Bureau has and will continue to deploy all the resources at its disposal in countering such criminal activity. The Bureau has seized properties and cash belonging to those involved in such crime and continues to assist other national units in the preparation of criminal prosecution files against some of the major players involved in this trade.

[355]In addition to this, arising from a Cross Border Organised Crime Co-operation initiative established under the auspices of the Department of Justice, Northern Ireland, and my own Department, a multi-agency Cross Border Fuel Fraud Enforcement Group has been in place since 2008 to specifically deal with the illicit trade in mineral oil. This group, which meets on a regular basis, is comprised of representatives from a wide range of Departments and Agencies from both jurisdictions, including An Garda Síochána. Since its establishment, this group has continued to successfully target a number of groups involved in the laundering and distribution of illegal fuels operating in both jurisdictions and will continue to introduce and implement new targeted initiatives to further tackle such criminality. I can assure the Deputy that all of the agencies involved will continue to have the full support and backing of the Government in tackling criminality in this area.


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