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Fuel adulteration syndicate busted in Nairobi

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Fuel adulteration syndicate busted in Nairobi

An oil tanker used in fuel adulteration.
An oil tanker at the Industrial Area yard where Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority officers arrested 16 people who were found adulterating fuel. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Sixteen people have been arrested after a raid at a site in Industrial Area, Nairobi for engaging in fuel adulteration.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (ERPA) officers carried out the swoop following a tip-off by members of the public, where thousands of litres of petroleum products used in the illegal activity were found.

An adulterated fuel is one in which an inferior quality petroleum product has been added thereby contaminating and weakening it. The adulteration mainly involves adding kerosene or diesel to petrol, with kerosene being the main adulterant.

ERPA Director-General Pavel Oimeke said that the Authority, in collaboration with detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the National Police Service, has been monitoring operations at the site for weeks.

“This illegal activity has been going on for a while now. We have been carrying out surveillance with DCI and on Friday we arrested the individuals who are part of the syndicate,” said Mr Oimeke on Tuesday.

“We have also impounded the vehicles (found at the scene) and we are going to demolish this site,” he added.

He said that the 16 suspects will be arraigned on Wednesday.

The regulator said the individuals were involved in mixing of petrol, diesel, heavy fuel oil and lubricants. He said cheap exports and dumping had made the illegal activity flourish in Kenya.

Mr Oimeke said that they are also looking for the landlord who will be charged with allowing illegal activities on the property.

“We want land owners to also keep an eye on what is going on in the plots they lease out to people,” he said.

Industrial Area has become notorious for such activities which has seen over 20 sites closed down by the Authority this year alone.

In April, the Authority also arrested seven people after another swoop along Lunga Lunga Road in Industrial Area.

More than 5,000 litres of diesel, 500 litres of petrol, 400 litres of engine oil, and 900 litres of kerosene and a motor vehicle tanker that has a capacity of about 1, 000 litres that was being used in the illegal activity of adulteration were found at the site.

The director-general said they have so far they have closed over 100 such illegal sites around the country where more than 8,000 litres of adulterated fuel has been found.

This flourishing business has resulted in big losses in revenue, deterioration of engine parts and increased emission levels that are harmful to the environment.

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