ZIMBABWE finance minister Professor Mthuli Ncube on Monday said those caught smuggling fuel risk having the truck and its cargo forfeited to the state.
Recently, customs authorities at Beitbridge border post tightened screws on the movement of commercial cargo following the interception of nine tankers carrying 360 000 litres of fuel being smuggled from South Africa.
“On the fuel sector, we want to promote the use of the pipeline so we decided to increase the fuel levy to US$0.05 a litre on both diesel and petrol because we are aware that a lot of fuel was beginning to come through road network actually smuggled,” Professor Ncube told a post-budget breakfast meeting today.
Experts say the move is meant to force importers to use the government’s pipeline from Beira, which smaller fuel firms have found to be more expensive than using road transport.
“Let me be clear if we catch you smuggling fuel by truck through the border working with Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officials which is what is happening, will take your truck, also Forfeit the fuel both the truck and the fuel that what we will do. We think that’s deterrent enough.”
A petroleum import duty of US$0.05 will also now be added to fuel imports that come into the country by road.
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