The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) has established a Revenue Assurance Department that will inspect customer sites in order to counter power thieves. These steps are being executed in parallel to the deployment of 300,000 smart meters.
Telecoms fraud managers will see some analogies between the crime suffered by ZESA and the way fraudsters attack telcos. On one side, there is tampering with equipment at the edge of the network. A ZESA spokesman claimed they had identified 4000 properties in Harare where prepaid meters had been bypassed, allowing customers to receive electricity for free. On the other side, some crime involves staff collusion. Zimbabwe’s Herald reports that:
…a cartel of Zesa employees was clandestinely cancelling mega-bills of electricity users still on the post-paid billing system in exchange for a few hundred US dollars. After cancelling the bills, they then install pre-paid meters without Zesa’s knowledge. For this, they are paid between US$300 and US$600 by electricity users who want their huge bills cancelled.
You can read more about this story at The Herald.