Police and other security agents have impounded a foreign registered fuel tanker at Chirundu One-Stop Border Post which was loaded with about 25 000 litres of water after the driver had attempted to dupe them that he was carrying fuel.
The driver has since disappeared and police are conducting investigations on the case.
It is believed that the driver could have offloaded the fuel in the country before attempting to drive into Zambia with the water.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.
“We are still conducting investigations on the case and we are also looking for the driver who disappeared when the offence was discovered,” he said.
He said when the truck arrived at the border, the driver insisted that he was carrying about 39 000 litres of diesel before security agents demanded to check.
During the process, the driver disappeared and the security agents discovered that the truck was loaded with water.
Recently, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) intercepted three fuel trucks in transit at Chirundu One-Stop Boarder Post linked to a fuel smuggling syndicate in the country.
The fuel was meant to be transported to Zambia, potentially prejudicing the country of potential revenues through organised crime.
In a statement, Zimra’s head of corporate communications, Mr Francis Chimanda, confirmed the developments and said two drivers had been arrested in connection with the case.
“During the period from 17 July 2021 to 23 July 2021, three tankers that had declared fuel at Forbes Border Post enroute to Zambia were intercepted at Chirundu One Stop Border Post, all loaded with water instead of fuel as per the declarations made at Forbes Border Post.
“The tankers had respectively declared 44 924 litres of diesel, 39 932 litres of diesel and 45 800 litres of petrol destined for Zambia. However, the three tankers after physical inspections turned out to be carrying water.
“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 after he disappeared during the physical inspection of the vehicle.”
Mr Chimanda said Zimra was seized with capacitating its intelligence management unit and will continue leveraging technology and data matching to fish out fuel smugglers.