By Kenneth Matimaire
Mutare, November 24, 2016 – POLICE in the eastern border city have recovered 2,926 litres of fuel worth over $3,468 that was smuggled from Mozambique in less than two weeks.
The fuel, which comprise of 2,320 litres of diesel and 606 litres of petrol was recovered between October 26 and November 8 this year by the Border Control Unit.
Smuggling of fuel has become rampant in Mutare as vehicle owners are opting for the cheaper product, which is selling at $0,66 petrol and $0,45 diesel per litre in the neighbouring country.
The fuel is then re-traded on the black market at a cost of $1,10 per litre while diesel goes for $0,80 against $1,33 and $1,15, respectively charged by registered filling stations.
The smugglers are taking advantage of the porous border to transport various goods on demand in Zimbabwe.
Manicaland police spokesperson Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa on Monday confirmed that fuel has become one of the most smuggled products between Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Inspector Kakohwa said police in the past used to deal mostly with the smuggling of bales of second hand clothing but it has since broadened to fuel.
“At first we used to have headaches with smuggling of bales of second hand clothes but now it has spread to soft drinks. Fuel smuggling is also rampant and we have made a lot of recoveries,” he added.
The provincial police spokesperson said they have since doubled their efforts in a bid to curb rampant smuggling.
“As police, we have doubled our efforts and we have deployed uniformed and plain clothes police officers in strategic areas along the border to ensure that cases of smuggling are reduced and culprits are brought to book.
“Several arrests have been made with many goods being recovered as a result of police efforts to curb smuggling along the border,” he said.
Insp Kakohwa further warned would-be smugglers to desist from the illegal activity as “the long arm of the law will catch up with them”.
“We strongly warn, members of the public that whoever is contemplating or thinking of involving him or herself in smuggling, let them be warned that the long arm of the law will catch up with them,” he warned.