A quarter of all diesel sold from Northern Ireland forecourts is smuggled, Ian Paisley Jr has claimed today.
During a debate in the House of Commons the North Antrim MP said more must be done to tackle the growing problem of fuel laundering.
Mr Paisley said: "A recent HMRC report on measuring tax gaps has revealed that smuggled diesel has increased in the last year, moving from 12pc of all diesel sold to 25pc this year. That is a staggering increase and demands that action is taken.
"HMRC must now place a much greater emphasis on looking to new measures which can properly and permanently mark diesel for non-road use so that it cannot be stripped of this marking and then sold as counterfeit.
"Currently the practice of laundering diesel not only robs the Treasury of huge amounts of revenue but also has a very detrimental environmental impact, with the criminals engaged in the practice often dumping the toxic sludge produced in this process in the countryside.
"It is vital that HMRC pursues this issue as a matter of high importance."