Fuel smuggling dragnet, Busuman motors and Fuelex busted
The owners of two trucking companies are facing fraud charges after their trucks were seized by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) last week Monday after they had smuggled fuel worth 2 million rand into the country via Beitbridge Border Post.
Three trucks belonging to Bulawayo based company Busuman Motors and six trucks belonging to Harare based Fuelex are currently being held by the revenue collecting arm of the Government of Zimbabwe, Zim Morning Post has established.
This comes as unscrupulous dealers are making a killing through fuel smuggling, prejudicing the state of millions of dollars, while making mega profits at the pump.
Observers believe, some fuel dealers have been able to sell fuel in foreign currency at prices much lower than those set by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), due to evading tax.
Zimbabwe Republic Police on Wednesday confirmed that the case involving Busuman Motors and Fuelex was under investigation.
“Nine trucks carrying fuel valued at ZAR 2 677 351.09 were intercepted after entering the country without following the entry and clearance procedures. The trucks are being held by ZIMRA,” police said.
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is on record saying that smuggling cartels are growing with the assistance of corrupt authorities.
Recently, Zimra busted a US$62 000 fuel smuggling racket in which two clearing agents allegedly forged papers that designated the contents as crude de-gummed soya bean oil, which is exempted from duty.
Malvern Mugoki, 38, and Wellington Kasalaweka, 34, of Vernson Freight (Pvt) Ltd have since appeared before Mutare magistrate, Tendai Mahwe, who freed them on ZWL$10 000 bail each to August 17