Zambia energy regulator probes fuel smuggling

Zambia’s energy regulator said Thursday that it has launched investigations into reports of fuel smuggling by some oil transporters.

Last week, the country’s tax agency cracked a smuggling syndicate in the southern border entry of Chirundu where transporters declared the consignment as Jet A1 fuel which was duty free when in fact it was petrol and diesel.

The tax agency said investigations further revealed that there was a conspiracy by transporters and clearing agents at the border entry to smuggle fuel without paying taxes.

Fred Hang’andu, acting director of consumer and public affairs at the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), said the regulator has instituted investigations to ascertain possible breaches of license conditions by companies involved in fuel transportation.

He said in a statement that the investigations were meant to ensure strict adherence to quality specifications and that the regulator was on high alert to ensure that smuggled fuel was not offloaded onto the Zambian market.

The investigations, he said, have been prompted following increased reports of fuel being smuggled into the country.

Meanwhile, one of the country’s leading fuel firms has denied reports of being involved in fuel smuggling business.

Puma Energy Zambia said in a statement that its own investigations have revealed that there was fraudulent use of its identity in fuel smuggling activities. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/

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