Three employees of the Kenya Pipeline Company have been arraigned in court for stealing fuel valued at over Ksh2 million.
A statement by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) on Monday indicated that the three (names withheld) stole the 13,852 litres of motor spirit premium (MSP) from Kisumu Terminal.
They were, therefore, charged with stealing the highly valuable petroleum products as well as with conspiracy to steal the MSP.
"Three employees of Kenya Pipeline Company were today arraigned before Kisumu Chief Magistrate for the offence of stealing petroleum products from Kenya Pipeline company - Kisumu terminal," read the statement in part.
"The three are charged with conspiracy to steal 13,852 litres of motor spirit premium (MSP) valued at Ksh 2,431,178, a property of oil marketers’ companies, which was in the custody of the Kenya pipeline company."
In their submissions, the prosecution opposed an application by the the three seeking to be released. The ODPP argued that the offence the accused persons committed was economic sabotage, which is punishable by law.
In his ruling, however, the chief magistrate noted that the right to bond is a right for every individual, though not absolute.
The accused pleaded not guilty and were released on a bond of Ksh 500,000 and a surety of a similar amount each.
The case will be mentioned on 3rd October 2023 for pre-trial.
The arrest came weeks after the company contained oil spill when one of its pipes at the Kisumu Terminal burst.
“We got intelligence from a member of the public of a suspected hydrocarbon release at about 10pm," the company announced on September 6.
"We immediately mobilised our Emergency Response teams from our Kisumu Depot. The leak was contained in less than one-and-a-half hours.”
Over the years, KPC has been working hard to contain losses realised through leaks along the pipeline connecting Kipevu Terminal with Nairobi and Kisumu.
In 2017, investigators opened a probe into the company after 300,000 litres of oil valued at Ksh70 billion mysteriously disappeared. To date, that has been the biggest scandal, which saw some senior officials sent on leave, to affect the company.
The lost fuel was registered as a pipeline loss whose charges are often transferred to the consumer.
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