Across Spain a major police operation is underway to stop a diesel-tampering ring. The group contaminated diesel fuel in conjunction with many gas stations, which then sold the subpar product to unsuspecting drivers.
By yesterday (Wednesday), some 50 suspects had been detained, with over 100 arrests expected throughout the day.
Police say that thousands of drivers have used the adulterated fuel.
Members of the crime gang transformed Type B and C Fuels (those used for farm machinery, fishing boats and heating) into Type A fuel (used by cars). Types B and C are given government tax breaks.
As cheaper diesel is dyed red to distinguish it from the more expensive variety, the gang added chemicals to eliminate the colouring from the fuel and pass it off as Type A.
Aside from the economic fraud, these additional substances also cause damage to vehicles.
Spain’s Guardia Civil launched the raid jointly with the Customs Surveillance Service.
Those detained include businesspeople who work in the fuel industry, along with criminals involved in drug trafficking and other activities.
Police sources have estimated that the fraud could be worth between €5 and €12 million a month.