Police in Bulawayo have bust a fuel syndicate and arrested five people, two of them National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) workers for stealing more than 1 400 litres of diesel from the parastatal's locomotives valued at Z$150 000 which they were selling on the black market.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the arrest which occurred on Thursday when police pounced on Taurai Moyo (40) of Nketa, Thomas Musavengana (44), of Sizinda an engineman at NRZ, Oliver Mapenduka (45) of Sizinda, a security guard at NRZ, Perfect Mpala of Lobengula West and Bawinile Ndlovu of Mzilikazi.
They allegedly stole 1 480 litres of diesel from NRZ station in Bulawayo.
Insp Ncube said the five were arrested in Thorngrove where they were storing the diesel before selling it on the black market after police got a tip-off from informants.
"I can confirm that police in Bulawayo are investigating a case of theft of fuel and on January 7, 2021 at around 3pm, police arrested five accused persons in connection with the matter," said Insp Ncube.
Circumstances according to police are that on 7 January, 2021 at about 10am police received information to the effect that the accused persons Moyo, Ndlovu and Mpala were dealing in fuel (diesel) at their work place in Thorngrove, which was believed to have been stolen.
Police proceeded to the given address and conducted surveillances. The team observed that the accused persons had just arrived at the premises and offloaded some drums of diesel from their vehicle, a Ford Ranger registration number ABA 4348 belonging to Moyo.
Insp Ncube said the police raided the garage and recovered the stolen fuel.
"The team pounced at the garage and arrested the above-mentioned trio. A search was conducted at the premises leading to the recovery of four 200-litre drums, two 210-litre drums and seven containers of 25 litres of diesel.
"The accused persons were interviewed and revealed that they had stolen the diesel from NRZ trains by means of draining it. The three accused persons implicated NRZ employees Musavengana and Mapenduka whom they connived with to drain fuel from the trains.
"The accused indicated that they had drained the diesel from a train in Nyamandlovu area. Moyo then led police to the two NRZ employees," he said.
Insp Ncube said police recovered 1 480 litres of fuel from the suspects.
"The accused persons were detained at Western Commonage. The Total quantity of diesel recovered is 1 480 litres valued at $149 332," he said.