14 November 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE A number of motorists—in conjunction with hackney and taxi company bosses in the wider Monaghan-Louth-Cavan region-have begun a DIY crackdown on fuel outlets in the Border counties which are suspected of engaging in ‘petrol stretching’ to cream-off a higher profit at the pumps!.

It was revealed at the weekend that some drivers have begun taking samples of petrol, which was purchased at certain “suspect” outlets in towns in Co. Monaghan, and are now awaiting the results of a chemical analysis which was carried out, before further action is taken.

It is understood the move, initiated by a group of hackney and taxi drivers, follows the release of new figures last week, which revealed that the Monaghan/Cavan area could be a petrol-stretching “blackspot” in the Border region, with the highest number of complaints received from the public on the issue!.

It was confirmed that a total of twenty five complaints were made by the public to the revenue authorities in the Cavan/Monaghan area—ten of the complaints made by members of the public regarding petrol stretching came from Co. Monaghan and fifteen complaints were made by motorists in Co. Cavan.

It was confirmed yesterday the complaints were reported to the authorities between July and October. According to one garage firm in the region yesterday, many cars in the region had engine damage caused in recent months, due to the new racket, which involves adding kerosene or methanol, to the petrol! .

The “stretching” of petrol is now regarded as the latest racket involving the fuel sector, as the official crackdown has considerably intensified on the illegal laundering of tax-rebated diesel to remove colouring, so that it can be sold at a higher price, as high-grade commercial fuel with the colouring removed.

Last week, gardai announced the launch of a special joint operation on the ‘petrol stretching’ issue, in response to the public outcry from drivers and the motor trade. “This operation will see the revenue authorities continuing to sample suspect fuel, while we will be continuing efforts to identify the perpetrators,” a senior garda source said.


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