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Kenya Pipeline detection systems in question as siphoning racket hits again

By Dalton Nyabundi | Published Sun, August 12th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 11th 2018 at 23:36 GMT +3
Residents of Kibos in Kisumu scoop diesel oil afloat from a stream passing nearby on August 11,2018, the second day after a siphoning cartel's pipe burst and overflowed thousands of liters to the stream. The owner of the racket was not yet established but police have some individuals in their custody. (Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

A fuel siphoning syndicate has hit the Kenya Pipeline Company Nakuru-Kisumu line once again, raising doubts over the spillage detection system.

The company was Saturday struggling to repair a section of the pipeline at Kibos in Kisumu, where criminals have been siphoning and selling diesel to suppliers for a long time.

Residents of Kibos in Kisumu scoop diesel oil afloat a stream passing nearby on August 11,2018.

Police were Saturday hunting for the suspects who had connected pipes to the main KPC line through an underground tunnel, adjacent to the Kisumu-Kibos road. It is suspected that they may have made millions from illegal connections since the metal pipes had become rusty.

The 1.3 kilometre pipeline led to a light cottage factory from where the cartel would have operated a loading ramp or pumped the fuel to a nearby petrol station, according to preliminary investigations. A 70-metre tunnel from a nappier grass plantation which also served as a tree nursery led to the 6-inch high velocity pipeline.

Valve attached to the main Kenya Pipeline line from Nairobi to Kisumu depot after it was discovered on August 11,2018.

Kisumu Depot manager Herman Munga suspects that the crooks were using the shed in the plantation to access the valve on the high pressure line. “We think the pipes they were using to ferry the fuel to the loading bay gave way and burst due to pressure,” he said.  

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