Police confiscate 10 000 litres of fuel, arrest tanker driver

Police in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe have confiscated over 10 000 liters of fuel from people found keeping it in their homes.

Lilongwe Police Spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula confirmed the development saying his office has embarked on an unnamed campaign to seize fuel from vendors and any person found hording it.

He said the fuel most of it petrol has been seized from people in various locations and a number of people have been arrested for illegal vending.

Fetching for fuel, now a daily routine in Malawi

Dandaula said the campaign has been launched as an attempt to smash the fuel vending which has resulted in growing cases of fires resulting from petrol.

“These vendors are invading filling stations buying fuel in jerry canes to resell to people at exorbitant prices. In the process, they keep this fuel in their homes and causing fatal accidents. Apart from that they are also selling this fuel without licenses,” he said.

He said the campaign was not only targeting vendors but every person who is found hording the commodity at any place.

Dandaula said the launch of the campaign also puts to an end purchasing of fuel in anything apart from direct vehicles tanks with or without an authorized letter from the regulating body, Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA).

“No person shall be allowed to buy fuel in jerry cans, gallons or drums because we have discovered that even those who have valid MERA documents are the ones who are behind the reselling of the fuel,” he explained.

Backstreet market

Meanwhile, police at Kanengo in the city have arrested a driver after he was caught red handed selling petrol which he was siphoning from a fuel tanker of a famous company.

“We have impounded the tanker and also seized about 400 liters of petrol which we found on scene. The driver and another person who was assisting him offload the fuel have both been arrested,” said Kanengo Police spokesperson Alfred Chinthere.

The police publicist however said the identities of the driver and the name of the company have been concealed to save the company’s corporate image.

“We will use the confiscated 400 liters as exhibit in court. We are not sure at the moment if some more fuel was already sold before our arrival,” said Chinthere.

Since the country started facing the fuel crisis, motorists have been finding solace on the black market though they have been digging deeper into their pockets. At times, the scarce commodity has been fetching double as much compared to pump price.

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