Two in court over US$88k fuel fraud… forging equipment seized
By Martin Muleya | Chipinge Times |
MUTARE – Provincial Magistrate for Mutare Perseverance Makala has remanded two men who allegedly attempted to illegally import fuel valued at US$88 115 in custody to May 30, 2023, for the continuation of trial.
Malvin Mugodoki (38) and Wellington Kasalaweka (34) allegedly forged import documents to show that the fuel was crude-degummed soya bean oil which is duty-free.
They were nabbed by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) loss control department, which discovered the fake import documents.
Mugodoki and Kasalaweka are charged with fraud and forgery, and the scam was done in July 2020.
On July 1, 2020, Liberty Mahembe hired five haulage truck drivers to carry MOGAS (Petrol and Diesel) from Mozambique to Lopdale Energy in Harare.
The drivers were given original petrol and diesel import documents and left the port on July 6, 2020.
They arrived at Machipanda Border Post in Mozambique the next day. They contacted Mugodoki to clear the consignment at Forbes Border Post, Mutare.
Mugodoki and Kasalaweka collected the original import documents from the drivers. They went to Kasalaweka’s workplace in Mutare central business district (CBD), where they altered them to show that the trucks were carrying crude soya bean oil. The crude soya bean oil is duty-free.
The duo then subcontracted Southern Business Services to clear the trucks with ZIMRA on their behalf using the forged Commercial invoices. Southern Business Services managed to clear the trucks with Zimra.
A Zimra loss control unit led by Crispen Mavengano discovered that the documents were forged, and investigations led to the arrest of Mugodoki and Kasalaweka.
Police details confiscated an HP desktop computer and a 16 Gigabyte Samsung flash drive used in forging the documents.
Mugodoki led the detectives to a house in Chikanga Extension, Mutare, where he had left the original documents.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) and the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC) took fuel samples from the trucks for testing on July 20, 2020 and concluded that the trucks were carrying petrol and diesel.