“Crackdown on Illegal Fuel Activities in Lusaka”

… ERB/DEC Joint Operation arrest of 13 illegal dealers and the seizure of 6,090 liters of illegal fuel

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (29-03-2024) – The joint operation led by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) targeted illicit fuel activities across Lusaka, resulting in the arrest of 13 illegal dealers and the seizure of 6,090 liters of illegal fuel.

According to a statement signed by Namukolo Kasumpa (ERB Manager of Public Relations) and Mwenge Mulenga (DEC Public Relations Officer), the operation aimed to curb illegal fuel trading, which undermines national revenue through tax evasion and poses serious risks to public safety and vehicle performance.

During the operation, authorities confiscated a significant quantity of illegal fuel, valued at over ZMW 188,000, along with associated equipment and assets used in the illegal trade.

These items included 17 drums and 80 twenty-liter containers from Lusaka, and 46 twenty-liter containers from Shimabala, Kafue, Turnpike, and Nasenga areas. Other seized items comprised four pumps, a total sum of ZMW 25,825 in cash, two bicycles, three cell phones, 06 x 1000L empty plastic pellet containers, 53 x 210L empty metallic and plastic drums, and several assorted empty plastic 20L containers.

The crackdown sends a clear message to those involved in illegal fuel vending: the law will be rigorously enforced, and offenders will face severe consequences.

With suspects currently in police custody awaiting formal charges, the authorities are demonstrating their commitment to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding public interests.

“Fostering partnerships with the public and encouraging the reporting of suspected illegal activities aims to disrupt illicit fuel trade networks and protect both consumers and the economy from its detrimental effects,” the statement urged.

Collectively combating illegal fuel vending, society can ensure safer roads, preserve public health, and safeguard national resources for the benefit of all citizens.

“The Task Force on Illegal Fuel Vending will remain resolute and committed to eradicating illegal fuel vending in the country. Illegal fuel vending undermines national revenue through tax evasion, jeopardizes engine performance on vehicles due to uncertain fuel quality, and poses significant public safety risks due to improper storage, potentially leading to fires and loss of life and property,” the statement concluded.

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