Public tip-off sparks police red diesel raid

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Mid Suffolk Police have carried out a raid on a warehouse in Needham Market, seizing a vehicle containing red diesel and suspected stolen property.

A warrant to raid the premises - a joint operation between police and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) - was secured after ‘numerous’ tip-offs by the public.

Police discovered two tanks containing red diesel – agricultural fuel which can be bought with a discount on tax – at the rural warehouse on Monday.

The find led police to the vehicle of one of the suspects in Stowmarket, which was found to contain red diesel.

A £500 fixed penalty was issued and when the suspect was unable to pay, the car was seized.

Pc Andrew Martin said: “Red diesel is significantly less taxed than regular fuel almost to the point it isn’t taxed at all - it is there to benefit agricultural use.

“By using it on the road you are avoiding all the tax you would normally pay and undermining the point of red fuel.

“The reason why this fuel is such a big deal is that there is a lot of red diesel being stolen from agricultural vehicles

“In showing we will not tolerate it being used on the road it will show people that it is not worthwhile stealing it.”

Pc Martin said information from the public was crucial in uncovering the illegal fuel.

He said: “Police sought two warrants under the theft act in relation to information received by numerous members of the public regarding stolen car parts, stolen fuel and the use of red diesel.

“We do act on information the public give us.

“People may think we don’t do anything with the information they give us but it is all kept confidential until we have enough evidence to get a warrant.

“The basis of the operation was also to show we do multi-agency work and with economic crimes like this it is important all agencies are working together.”

No arrests were made and inquiries are ongoing.