The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has voiced its support saying it is "delighted" at the decision of the Department of Environment (DoE) Northern Ireland to revoke the operator’s licences from three freight operators for using laundered fuel.
The licences of Mr Padraig Daly, who traded as PD Refrigerated, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Mr Kevin Peter Johnston, Johnston Tipper Services, Ballyronan, Co Londonderry and Mr Wadsworth James Bethel, of Banbridge, Co Down were revoked for the illegal use of fuel and other infringements under the Goods Vehicle (Licensing of Operators) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said:
"The majority of goods vehicle operators work within the law. These decisions reinforce the clear message to any operator, tempted to indulge in wrong practices, including the illegal use of fuel, to think again."
FTA has said that it fully supports the DoE, Transport Regulation Unit, PSNI and HMRC in their pursuit of operators using illegal fuel.
Seamus Leheny, Policy & Membership Relations Manager – Northern Ireland commented:
"FTA is delighted at the DoE’s decision as we believe Operator Licence revocation is the only appropriate response in these circumstances. This type of illegal activity is destroying lawful and fair competition in the transport sector."
Mr Leheny added:
"Such operators cannot be considered as of good repute, and should have their road haulage licence revoked. The potential rewards for operators using laundered fuel are so substantial, that fines or imprisonment alone are not a sufficient deterrent, these operators must also be disqualified from trading as licensed transport operators Members of the FTA welcome this action as illegal operators often undercut them on prices thus depriving legitimate companies of revenue and subsequently jobs."