The Great Fuel Robbery
The Hidden Cost of High Fuel Prices
Its the perfect criminal commodity with profits lining the pocket of organised crime. What we put in our tanks is the very life-blood of the British economy, but fuel prices here are now amongst the highest in Europe making our petrol and diesel more valuable than ever.
But, the rising cost of this commodity has put it at the heart of a massive black market. A multi-million pound hidden crime which stretches from the ordinary drivers at the garage forecourt through to a dark and a dangerous underworld.
CCTV footage shows a driver at a Manchester petrol station filling his tank. He is a criminal using a rental vehicle with false, stolen number plates. This is not just for personal use, the fuel is sold on the street making him 1,000s. He is one of many who cost the country tens of millions.
The trade body BOSS which represents petrol stations say they are working closely with the enforcement agencies to reduce forecourt drive-offs.
Such are the profits to be had from avoiding fuel duty that there now exists a whole new level of organised crime. Red Diesel is a subsidised fuel that farmers and building contractors are legally allowed to use for off-road vehicles Fuel fraud investigators target business using this fuel illegally.
For many businesses avoiding duel tax seems the lesser of two evils when the alternative may be going under.