Motorists warned against buying black market fuel

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    Motorists warned against buying black market fuel.

    Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said police were intensifying efforts to arrest people who buy fuel from the black market.

    Fuel dealingPolice in Bulawayo have warned motorists against buying fuel from the black market saying they risk arrest at a time residents have reported that thieves are sneaking into their homes and draining fuel from their cars at night.

    “We have had incidents of people draining fuel from other people’s cars during the night. The trend is growing and seems to be fuelled by the ready market of fuel sold on the black market. While we have not yet made any arrests for those people that drain fuel from people’s cars, we suspect that they sell the fuel on the streets,” said Insp Ncube.

    He said both those that sell and buy fuel on the black market were breaking the law. “As police we are shifting our focus to people that are buying fuel from the black market. We will not hesitate to arrest people buying from the black market. This is not an operation, it is part of our continuous campaigns. We are currently engaged in community campaigns covering all offences and crime prevention,” Insp Ncube said.

    He urged residents to secure their homes and vehicles while those who live in insecure homes may consider leaving their vehicles at the nearest overnight car parks.

    “Residents should bear in mind that this fuel that is sold on the black market is usually stored in plastic containers and is one of the chief causes of the increase in cases of house fires. People are risking losing property and injuring others if they buy or sell fuel illegally,” Insp Ncube said.

    He urged the public to report people involved in illegal fuel sales. Some motorists who spoke to The Chronicle said due to fuel shortages they end up resorting to sourcing fuel from illegal dealers.

    “Sometimes driving is not a luxury but a necessity and most of the times there is no fuel at service stations. You may find that we are forced to just buy from the black market even if it is more expensive because options are limited. The government should ensure that fuel is available in abundance at service stations so that the black market is pushed out of business,” Ms Thokozani Moyo, a Mpopoma suburb resident.

    “When a commodity is readily available, people will see no need to buy from the black market where they risk buying contaminated fuel.”

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