Freight transport boss faces nine-year ban for using red diesel in his fleet

The director of SDS Logistics in Scotland, Scott McClung, has been banned from acting as a director for nine years after using red diesel in his fleet.

The company, based in Stirlingshire, ceased trading after six years in August 2016.

After going into liquidation, an investigation by the Insolvency Service found that between May 2013 and April 2017, SDS Logistics misused close to 1.7 million litres (approximately 1,688,648 litres) of rebated Gasoil, also known as red diesel, in its fleet.

Gasoil, which is dyed red for identification purposes, can be used in registered agricultural or construction vehicles and carries a reduced tax levy compared to Derv, the white diesel used in normal road vehicles.

The red diesel is illegal to use in vehicles registered for and used on public roads.

SDS Logistics’ use of the fuel was found when HMRC officials visited SDS Logistics’ premises in April 2016 and found four vehicles had been misusing red diesel.

As a result, a penalty of £553,210 was issued, but SDS Logistics failed to pay, leading to its liquidation.

Forty-seven-year-old Scott McClung has since been disqualified from acting as a director until 14 March 2027.

Robert Clarke, investigations group leader at the Insolvency Service, said: “The substantial period of this disqualification reflects the fact this director put his financial interests above all else in taking advantage of this subsidised fuel.

“The majority of similar businesses pay the proper duty on the fuel they use, and carry that legitimate cost within their trading strategy. This was a blatant disregard by a director to obtain an unfair competitive advantage.”

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