The Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB) loses over 430m/- monthly on illegal petrol trade in the Zanzibar municipality, it was revealed on Thursday.
Investigation done by this paper in Zanzibar has shown that the loss was due to sale of petroleum products being conducted by unregistered petrol stations.
Speaking to this paper, the Zanzibar’s United Petroleum (UP) manager, Collis Chemngorem, said petrol sales at registered pump stations decreased, leading to sharp fall in tonnages of the product sold per day.
He said statistics show from June last year the government was losing out over 430m/- per month to illegal traders due to the iillegitimate trading.
“What is sad is that the illegal activity is being conducted at public places without fearing security organs," he lamented.
He urged the government to take action against unscrupulous drivers involved in selling fuel illegally.
For his part, ZRB Commissioner Mohamed Hashim Ismail, confessed that illegal petroleum products were being imported through unregistered ports located around the Isles’ beaches.
He said that on February 4, this year, the Board impounded 81,000 litres of illegally imported petrol on board ‘MV Mashallah’ at Malindi port in Zanzibar.
The survey by this paper found out that the illegal oil business was flourishing at such places as Mwanakwerekwe, Mikunguni and Kijangwani close to Ng'ambo Police Station in Unguja town district.
Zanzibar West Town Regional police commander Aziz Juma Mohamed, was not however ready to comment on the matter on the phone, saying it was necessary for the reporter to meet him in his office.
The illegal business is said to have benefited some commuter bus operators, who are claimed to have saved some money from the business.
At the moment recommended price of a litre of diesel is 2,100/-, while in the black market, the same is sold at between 1,700/- and 1,800/-.