EU enforcers seizes 2.2m kilos of illicit fuel

25 suspects have been arrested and 2.2m kilos of illicit fuel seized thanks to a six-month enforcement operation across 23 EU member states.

The illegal trade of fake fuel can cause mass damage to engines, and pose a great risk to consumer safety, as the products are not compliant with the appropriate European standards, according to Europol.

The criminals produced a mixture of mainly gas oil and other added compounds to modify the final physical features of the product, selling it on the black market at a knockdown price and sidestepping fuel taxes. The cooperation between all these groups created a detailed intelligence picture of the method of operations, trade routes, types of products and the operators involved in the fraud, says Europol.

Alongside the seizure of the illicit fuel, enforcement agencies also uncovered 400,000 kilos of other illicit products and confiscated various assets including vehicles, properties and bank accounts worth over €3m. Criminal proceedings are now said to be underway among all EU member states that participated in the operation.

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