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Company boss on €9m fuel charges

A COMPANY director has been charged in connection with an alleged €9m-a-year diesel laundering operation.

Paul Haughey (34) was allegedly "caught red-handed" in a yard in Co Monaghan that gardai said had the capacity to launder 18 million litres of fuel annually.

He was granted bail when he appeared before Dublin District Court charged in connection with the find in 2011.

Judge Michael Walsh deferred a decision on granting legal aid after hearing that the accused's firm had a three-year contract with Dublin City Council installing water meters.

Father-of-three Haughey, of Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, is charged with removing or attempting to remove a prescribed marker from a mineral oil without the consent of the Revenue.

The offence is alleged to have taken place on September 1, 2011 at Corragarry, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.

Gda Paul Kane of the Organised Crime Unit told the court he was objecting to bail.

He said the yard in question had been under surveillance and the accused was seen entering it on several occasions. He was allegedly seen standing on a tanker that was connected to hosing and filtering apparatus.

It was alleged that the tanker had 30,000 litres of diesel, with a potential loss to the exchequer of €15,000. In a search that day, the yard had 110,000 litres of diesel representing a potential €55,000 loss to the State.

Applying for bail, the accused's barrister said that when interviewed by gardai, the defendant had given a "reasonably innocent" explanation for why he was in the yard.

WARRANT

Counsel said the defendant ran the company with his brother and the firm was incorporated in the Republic.

Haughey had been told by the PSNI that gardai had obtained a warrant for his arrest. He met the gardai voluntarily "without any hiccups".

He was living with his wife and children in Co Armagh and working daily in Dublin.

Judge Walsh remanded him in custody with consent to bail.

aphelan@herald.ie


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