Gurney brothers convicted of ‘cynical’ fuel laundering

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Two brothers from the Greysteel area, who were involved in laundering and concealing illicit fuel, have been sentenced following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Stephen Gurney (28) was arrested on May 16, 2013 after HMRC officers seized 4,500 litres of laundered fuel and 1,200 litres of waste product, at a shed on Foyle Avenue.

During follow up searches on the same day, at a nearby oil depot, laundered fuel was found in a number of vehicles and a fuel storage tank. The owner of the business, Roland Gurney (33) was interviewed by HMRC officers.

Mike Parkinson, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The Gurney brothers were involved in a quite cynical fraud in which laundered fuel was being used commercially. Fuel fraud is not just an attack on legitimate retailers and road hauliers but also ordinary taxpayers and local ratepayers.

“Not only are we missing out on the stolen tax that ends up the pockets of the criminals, we are also paying for the clean-up and disposal of the harmful waste.

“Anyone tempted to buy illicit fuel needs to consider where their money is going. Buying it is financing and encouraging criminality within our communities. If anyone has information about fuel fraud, we would encourage them to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000”

Sentence: On September 2, 2015, Stephen Gurney, pleaded guilty at Limivady Magistrates Court and was sentenced on the 28 October to 4 months suspended for 2 years. Sentence: On October 28, 2015, Roland Gurney, was found guilty at Limavady Magistrates Court and sentenced to four months imprisonment.

Stephen Gurney was convicted of fraudulent evasion of excise duty and VAT in relation to hydrocarbon oil and of being knowingly concerned in the concealing of such goods.

And Roland Gurney of Vale Road, Greysteel, was convited of fraudulent evasion of excise duty and VAT in relation to hydrocarbon oil.