Cartels Supplying Transformer Oil to Chips Mwitu Businesses Arrested

Officers on duty at a police station in Kenya in a photo dated 2020

Detectives in Kiambu County nabbed cartels accused of vandalising power transformers in various towns.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, February 16, Kiambu County Police Commander Perminus Kioi, reported that they arrested four suspects who would aid the cops in tracking and apprehending accomplices. 

He noted that the offenders had terrorised Kiambu county and almost succeeded in causing a total blackout. They reportedly sucked oil from the transformers and sold it to hotel owners. 

A file photo of Kiambu County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha(middle)  and Kiambu Police Commander Perminus Kioi(right)
A file photo of Kiambu County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha(middle) and Kiambu Police Commander Perminus Kioi(right)
Perminus Kioi

“We have managed to arrest four people, who have been vandalising transformers. Some of the fuel they suck from the transformers is used to prepare chips. 

The oil is also being used to filter the old oil before repackaging it to sell as the new oil. It is an economic crime because if three transformers are removed from town, the whole area will experience total darkness,” he noted.

Kioi stated that the operation began in various counties surrounding Kiambu, which has been recording notorious criminal cases

“This operation is going on in Murang’a, Nyeri and Kirinyaga. This has to stop, and we are so strict. We know the gang consists of various groups, but we will soon get hold of them all.

"I can assure you that this crime has generally reduced after detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) launched undercover operations,” he uttered.

On January 2022, President Uhuru Kenyatta (Rtd) announced that vandalism of scrap metals would attract treason charges. 

“As of today, we have put a moratorium on any scrap material until we have put in place proper guidelines that will ensure that that material is not coming from the investment that the Kenyan people have made,” Uhuru announced while addressing police cadet graduands at the Kenya Police Training College.

A year later, on January 30, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki launched a Water Protection Unit (WPU) to safeguard crucial water facilities across the country.

Kindiki noted that the unit under the Administration Police would include officers from Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU). 

Undated photo of police officers outside the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road
Police officers outside the DCI Headquarters along Kiambu Road.
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