The contraband included 60 bidons of fuel (both petrol and diesel), 167 bundles of used clothing, and two boxes containing motorcycle accessories. There is currently a thriving business of smuggling fuel from Mozambique into Zimbabwe. Despite the recent increase in fuel prices in Mozambique, the price discrepancy is still large enough to make it worthwhile for smugglers to buy fuel in Mozambique and resell it in Zimbabwe.
The police seized the contraband goods in the Chitewe area, near the Machipanda border post between the two countries. They detained two people in connection with the smuggling, and seized the vehicle they were using.
The Manica provincial police spokesperson, Elsidio Filipe, told reporters in Manica Town on Saturday that the seizure formed part of an operation along the border to stamp out the smuggling of merchandise into Zimbabwe.
“This is a routine operation we have been carrying out along the border”, she said. “Our goal is to reduce or end completely the illegal entry and exit of goods in the frontier zone. These operations are going to continue, and we are counting on local communities to collaborate in the fight against crime”.
“We are investigating the origins of the fuel”, Filipe added. “We believe it was syphoned out of trucks leaving the port of Beira, to be sold on the informal market in Zimbabwe”.
One of the men detained, the driver of the vehicle, Eusebio Maguta, said he did not know where the goods had come from. He said he had merely received them with instructions to deliver them to “the legitimate owners”.
“I receive the bundles and the box containing motorcycle accessories, but I don’t know anything about fuel”, Maguta insisted. “It doesn’t belong to me and I only saw it being taken out of the police warehouse. I only recognize that I was carrying bundles of clothing”.Post published in: Africa News