Thieves reportedly managed to steal a huge volume of diesel from a high-security naval base, as the Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation.
They made off with fuel from tankers at HMNB Devonport in Plymouth that was used to power electricity generators at the base.
The stolen fuel was due to fill up generators powering HMS Bulwark, a 19,560-tonne assault ship.
The Sun newspaper reported the thieves siphoned off diesel worth more than £250,000, which belonged to contactor Babcock International.
The newspaper said the alarm was raised when civilian guards performed a spot check on a civilian tanker driver trying to leave the base.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The Ministry of Defence is aware of an incident last year involving the alleged theft of fuel from a contractor within HMNB Devonport.”
“There was no disruption to defence operations and the Ministry of Defence has no further comment.”
When approached by City A.M., a spokesman for Babcock International declined to comment.