In a development which enhances ZIMRA’s ability to apprehend fuel smugglers, the Authority has launched an advanced mobile fuel testing system which has since apprehended a fuel smuggler at Chirundu Border Post.

The newly acquired fuel testing equipment comprises of hydrometers, measuring cylinders, dip sticks, dipping pastes and water pastes.

The equipment, which is capable of detecting the nature of the product being imported or exported by a transporter, is a game changer expected to curtail and disarm all fuel smuggling syndicates who have been bringing fuel into the country without paying any duties due.

The water paste detects presence of water in the product being tested while the hydrometers measure density to determine whether the product is petrol, diesel or paraffin.

On a test run which was done on the 10th of November 2021 while launching the testing kit at Chirundu One Stop Border Post, the Authority detected a fuel tanker belonging to a transporter (name withheld) carrying water instead of the fuel declared at Forbes Border Post.

This was a clear case of transit fraud where the state was prejudiced of over a million dollars in revenue through decanting 39,754 litres of the fuel in Zimbabwe. The truck was seized and the case was reported at the ZRP Chirundu Station.

The Authority is in the process of conducting investigations on how the fuel was substituted with water. The investigations will include importers, transporters, Customs Clearing Agents and ZIMRA officials. The Authority will prosecute all parties who were involved in the smuggling syndicate.

ZIMRA has already started training its staff at all border posts to use the equipment in a bid to fight corruption. The authority has a zero tolerance for corruption and members of the public are urged to report corruption and resist bribes using ZIMRA’s hotline facilty, whistle blower facility or phone in.