Fuel Siphoning Gang Exposed After Blunder

People siphoning fuel from a tanker
Member of the public siphoning fuel from a tanker that overturned at Mai Mahiu in 2019.

Police in Kisumu County have busted a fuel siphoning gang in Maua-Lolwe Estate, after a tip off from residents who noticed an oil spill in the area.

According to detectives, the gang had dug an underground tunnel that ran from the main Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) Nakuru-Kisumu line.

The illegal tunnel led to an underground tank that police say was disguised as a septic tank.

It was this tank that started leaking fuel and was discovered by residents who notified police.

Fuel tankers lined up to collect petroluem products for distribution in various parts of the country
Fuel tankers lined up to collect petroleum products for distribution in various parts of the country.
Bizna Kenya

A search of a four bedroom house in the area uncovered  a generator presumably used for pumping the oil, several pipes, mattresses, a fire extinguisher among other items related to their operations.

After the bust, police initiated a manhunt for the suspects, who remain at large.

The area has also been cordoned off to prevent further oil spillage and potential fires.

This incident comes just a month after Kisumu residents demanded the transfer of police officers in the area for what they termed a failure to take action against fuel siphoning gangs.

According to the residents, some rogue police officers have been collaborating with the cartels who target vehicles ferrying fuel to Kisii, Migori, Nyamira, Homa Bay and Busia, and offering them protection.

The residents claimed that several reports to police fell on deaf ears despite having provided sufficient evidence of the criminal operations.

Nyanza regional police commander Mannase Musyoka, on his part, promised thorough investigations into the allegations.

“I will ensure the officers are transferred including the one in whose jurisdiction fuel siphoning is being undertaken. We cannot tolerate such criminal activities,” Musyoka asserted.

Similarly, Kisumu county police commander Alphonse Wambua warned any police officers involved in the illegal activity saying they would be held accountable.

Unfortunately these two incidents are not new to Kisumu that has been in the spotlight for the past couple of years over similar fuel siphoning operations.

photo of a fuel pump in Kenya
A photo of a motorist fuelling a car a local petrol station in Kenya
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