Boss criticises arson inquiry

WRECKAGE: Three burnt out tankers show the extent of the damage caused by the arson at Ukay Fuels.
WRECKAGE: Three burnt out tankers show the extent of the damage caused by the arson at Ukay Fuels.

The boss of a Hadleigh fuel depot torched in an arson attack last year has slammed the police investigation after it was closed.

Three fuel tankers, carrying 40,000 litres of kerosene, gas oil and road diesel, parked at Ukay Fuels’ depot in Lady Lane were set alight on November 16, causing several explosions.

Suffolk Police announced last week it had no leads into who started the fire, prompting Ukay Fuels’ managing director Anthony Iameo to vent his anger at the process.

“I had no feedback whatsoever to say what was happening,” he said.

“I think I am going to have to make a complaint against the police – I pay my taxes and this is the return I get, which is appalling and not acceptable.”

Following an initial interview a month after the event, Mr Iameo said he was left in the dark over progress with the investigation.

“How did they know that I had not sacked somebody or had a row with someone?” he said. “The police didn’t even bother to question me until a month later.

“I could do better myself. It just seems like it wasn’t serious enough for them. Actions speak louder than words and it certainly didn’t show it was important.”

The fire caused £500,000 of damage to vehicles, parking and fuel but could have been much worse, had the 50 firefighters who attended the blaze not acted so quickly.

“I have no issue with the firefighters – they were superb,” said Mr Iameo.

Detective Inspector Nick Power, from Suffolk Police, denied the incident had not been taken seriously.

“The arson at Ukay Fuels was thoroughly investigated with a number of inquiries made and appeals issued in the local media, however, at this stage, we have been unable to identify possible offenders,” he said.

“Throughout the investigation, we have tried to keep in contact with Mr Iameo, though our attempts have not always been successful.

“We apologise if this has made him feel as if the crime was not a priority. This was a very serious incident, which caused significant damage and I would be happy to speak with Mr Iameo to discuss the matter further.”

Anyone with information on the arson should call Suffolk Police on 101.