Zimra intercepts fuel smugglers at Chirundu
Harare (New Ziana)-The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) said on Tuesday it had intercepted three fuel trucks at Chirundu Border post allegedly attempting to smuggle the commodity into the country, potentially prejudicing it of tax revenues.
In a statement, Zimra head of Corporate Communications, Francis Chimanda said the fuel was originally destined for Zambia.
He said the trucks, which had declared fuel destined for Zambia as their cargo at Forbes Border, was found allegedly carrying water at Chirundu Border attempting to cross into Zambia.
This, Zimra said, pointed to the fuel having been unloaded in Zimbabwe without duty having been paid for the product.
Chimanda said the tankers had declared 44 924 litres of diesel, 39 932 litres of diesel and 45 800 litres of petrol destined for Zambia.
However, at Chirundu Border, the three trucks were allegedly found to be carrying water attempting to cross into Zambia.
“The three fuel tankers were flagged for physical inspection and with the assistance of police; two drivers were arrested and have already appeared in court. The driver of the third tanker is still at large as he disappeared during the physical inspection of the vehicle. The Authority is currently capacitating the intelligence management unit and will continue leveraging on technology and data matching to fish out fuel smugglers”, said Chimanda.
He added: “Intelligence at hand points to possible connivance between transporters and their drivers as well as some unscrupulous agents. The transit fuel does not exit Zimbabwe and is consumed locally against customs regulations. The smugglers off-load and sell the fuel in Zimbabwe. Thereafter they load the trucks with water and proceed to Chirundu for the acquittal process. Once acquitted, they enter Zambia where they drain the water and buy cheaper fuel for delivery to their customers. This ensures that they make a hefty profit in Zimbabwe since they would have brought the fuel into Zimbabwe duty-free.”
Chimanda said transit shipment of fuel occurs when transporters ship fuel from outside Zimbabwe, which passes through the country destined for another country.
“Since this fuel is not for local consumption, no duty is paid on importation. The fuel trucks are sealed at the port of entry and the seals are removed at the exit point after the acquittal process.
“Sealed fuel trucks that transit through Zimbabwe, are monitored by an Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) operated by ZIMRA’s Customs and Excise Division. The trucks use dedicated routes and any departure from these routes attracts a fine of US$2 000.00. Removal of seals is a serious offence, which also attracts a hefty fine,” he said.