Zambia: 60 Trucks Seized in Fuel Scam

THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has impounded 60 trucks used in a case of suspected smuggling of fuel from Namibia and Mozambique into Zambia.

The impounded fuel is valued at around K576,000.

ZRA said trucks were intercepted at Katima Mulilo, Chanida and Chirundu border points.

Investigators discovered the trucks had been modified under their trailers to carry concealed fuel ranging from 1,000 to 1,800 litres.

It is suspected this was done with a view to concealing the undeclared fuel to evade Excise Duty on the fuel.

ZRA corporate communications manager Topsy Sikalinda said yesterday the impounded trucks would be forfeited to the state.

He was speaking to media during an operation at the Katima Mulilo border on Thursday.

Explaining the mechanism used in the modified trucks, he said the belly tanks were not connected to the vehicle fuel system.

The fuel itself was meant to be used for internal operations within Zambia after being offloaded.

"The drivers are currently giving statements and the five trucks in-bound at Katima Mulilo will be forfeited to the State in accordance with the law," Mr Sikalinda said.

ZRA would prosecute smugglers of items into Zambia because the trend robbed the Government of revenue which could be invested in strategic economic sectors like social welfare, health and education.

Mr Sikalinda said investigations on another 26 trucks were in progress and all border areas had been put on high alert.

"We want to send a strong warning to truckers with additional tanks on their trucks to remove them immediately before we pounce on them," he said.

Mr Sikalinda warned that truckers found to have installed additional tanks would lose their vehicles through the forfeiture.

The five seized trucks from Katima Mulilo that were carrying perishables into Zambia were yesterday escorted by a mobile compliance unit to deliver their consignment after which they would be taken to the ZRA yard in Lusaka's Makeni area.

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