Some petroleum smugglers in the northern part of Ghana are employed the services of donkeys to aid their nefarious activities.
Government has expressed concern about an increase in the rate of fuel smuggling across Ghana’s borders to neighbouring countries.
An Anti-Fuel Smuggling exercise was therefore carried out by the security agencies and resulted in the seizure of significant quantities of fuel smuggled in jerrycans and petrol tankers to neighbouring countries.
But some unscrupulous persons have found a different way to outwit the security agencies – using donkeys.
The donkey can be trusted to do many tasks without human supervision. It has remarkable memory especially for paths and routes. It is therefore considered as a very good animal for anyone who is blind.
Considered as territorial animals, donkeys mark their territories with dung piles or urine.
Knowing this, Joy FM’s Upper East Regional correspondent Albert Sore reported that the smugglers load their donkeys with jerrycans-full-of-fuel, and leave the animals to make their way across the border into Burkina Faso using paths unmanned by security personnel.
He said the smugglers would often go ahead of their fuel-carrying donkeys whose load is often concealed in bales of pasture.
Riding on motorbikes, they will then meet up with the animals at designated places and offload the fuel for sale.
The business is lucrative because the government of Ghana subsidises fuel which keeps prices of the product artificially low locally.
Critics say the government’s claims of an increase in fuel smuggling is simply a ruse to justify its plans to remove the fuel subsidy.