Over 6,500 Liters of Contraband Benzene Seized

ADDIS ABABA – More than 6,500 liters of contraband benzene were intercepted from smugglers, according to a report Police in Southern Ethiopia on Saturday.

Police in SNNPR’ Gedeo Zone captured the contraband fuel in Dilla town on Friday afternoon following a tip-off received from the public.

The Isuzu truck, registered under a B 28951AA license plate, was intercepted while heading to the West Gujji route, said Deputy Inspector Biru Markos, head of the Dilla Zuria District Police Department, speaking to ENA.

The driver of the truck is currently in custody, said the Police, who launched an investigation into the case.

The petrol station suspected of being involved in illegal trade will face justice, said Gedeo Zone Trade and Market Development Bureau.

The Bureau also warned petrol stations to refrain from distributing fuel irresponsibly, adding strict measures on stations found involved in the illegal trade.

Benzene and naphtha of petroleum is one of the contraband commodities often sold illegally from Ethiopia at the border area in the south, south east or west.

The volume of petroleum crossing the border is growing from time to time which directly reflects negatively on the local market. The main reason for that is that the Ethiopian government is subsidizing the product, making it significantly cheaper than the price in neighboring countries’ markets, according to the reports.

Ethiopia allocates almost a similar proportion of foreign currency income secured from export earnings to oil import.