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The theft of used cooking oil is estimated to be costing the Treasury £25m a year in lost duty, claimed by a leading UK resource recovery company
Their research shows a high proportion of waste cooking oil is being stolen from restaurants and takeaways and being converted into unregulated biodiesel for sale on the black market depreiving HMRC of £25m in fuel duty.
These unregulated plants handle dangerous chemicals such as methanol and caustic soda to process the waste cooking oil at high temperatures and pressure. The biodiesel production machinery used to handle these chemicals and waste are usually sub standard and would not have had to go through stringent testing like the regulated plants, posing a danger not only to the operators but also to the surrounding population and environment.
Criminals are posing as legitimate waste oil collection companies
In December 2012, two men were conviced of stealing an estimated 220,000 litres of waste cooking oil from takeaways and supermarkets across the UK.
Stuart Bradley, 38 and Matthew Walker 27, both from Worcestershire were both sentenced to two years behind bars after being involved in 227 thefts between November 2011 and February 2012.
Det Con Gareth Homer leading the investigation from West Midlands Police: "This was something which wasn't heard of in our office and it was a new sort of problem which had come to our attention."
The two men stole £147,000 worth of used oil by posing as staff from a legitimate waste cooking oil recycling firm.
Read more about the story on BBC website
Cater Oils urges restaurants to be vigilant
Thieves are becoming bolder entering kitchens and posing as ourselves asking to collect the waste cooking oil. Remember all Cater Oils staff carry ID and will always issue a Cater Oils WTN (waste transfer note). Click here to view a sample waste transfer note from Cater Oils Ltd.
Statement from Olleco
"As much as 20% of used cooking oil produced in UK is stolen," said Adam Baisley, commercial director at Olleco
BBC 5 Live investigation on waste cooking oil theft