Fuel thieves caught on Zimbabwe border for fuel theft and Petrol Attendants caught in Harare for fraudulent activities
Thanks to the exceptional fuel management system that has been perfected over the past eight years by Digit fleet and fuel management a fuel siphoning ring at Zimbabwe boarder (Beitbridge) has been caught. An investigation was launched at a fuel station in Harare which resulted in four petrol attendants being arrested for fuel theft.
Fuel theft is a growing problem in South Africa and it’s becoming one of the biggest headaches for Fleet managers and Logistics Company Owners. Because of the price of Diesel and fuel going up on almost a quarterly basis, poor and impoverished people have resorted to stealing diesel or any fuel they can get their hands on from stationary fleet vehicles at the borders of South Africa. We have had many cases at the Mozambique border where fuel theft occurs while the driver is sleeping in the vehicle.
It is a big concern for many truck owners because the amount of fuel stolen is sometimes upward of 200 litres, and with current diesel prices almost at the R15 mark, truck owners and fleet companies loose on average R3000 of fuel every time their vehicles have to go across the border.
Fuel theft at Beitbridge
A client of one of the Digit Distributors noticed fuel drops every time his vehicles go through Beitbridge border post. The shortest recorded time for one of his trucks from arriving to departing Beitbridge was four hours and even in that time he lost 120 litres of fuel.
The client decided to go to the border and wait for a fuel theft message to be triggered. In one day from four of their trucks they caught eight suspects and confiscated manual fuel pumps, containers and more than 2000 litres of diesel in their possession. They feel it was a great success and they were pleased with the help from the local authorities. Unfortunately it will not be a permanent solution as according to the police on site, this is a daily occurrence and even if they arrest someone today, there will be a new group of people stealing diesel in a week’s time. They do not have the man power to keep up with the theft happening here but the local police will not give up.
Harare Petrol attendants under fire for fuel theft
A client who installed the Digit fleet and fuel management system in his fleet of vehicles not too long ago has been finding fuel discrepancies at a specific fuel station in the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare. He called his Digit Distributor to make sense why whenever the fuel is filled at this station there is a 30% – 40% difference between what the fuel slip says and the actual fuel added to the vehicle. Digit verified that it is not a calibration issue because when the trucks are in South Africa, fills are all within the expected parameters but at this fuel station something is suspicious.
The fleet owner then proceeded to polygraph his drivers that were on that specific route and they all failed the test. Through a disciplinary procedure the employment of three was terminated and three more had final written warnings given to them. Thanks to the Digit fuel management system, reports where printed out and once shown to the drivers involved, they admitted their involvement.
Shortly thereafter the fleet owner contacted the fuel station and the management launched their own investigation. CCTV footage showed irregularities in the operations which identified fuel thefts. Four of the attendants have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
Fuel theft continues to be a huge concern, as fleet owners often rely on narrow profit margins which are heavily affected by diesel losses.