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Sh17 billion oil deal: Who is fooling who?

 

Businesswoman Anne Njeri Njoroge who went missing last week arrives at Mombasa court, in the company of lawyer Cliff Ombeta. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The case on the importation of Sh17 billion oil failed to take off in Mombasa after the woman who claims to be the owner and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) engaged in blame game.

On Tuesday, Ann Njeri Njoroge produced more documents to back her claim to the 100,000 metric tons of diesel imported from Turkey, a day after KPA feigned ignorance about the deal.

She produced a cargo manifest, IMO number 9505821, issued on October 3, showing the ship piloted by a Saudi National was to arrive in Mombasa seven days later, on October 11.

The manifest issued by the shipper, Nora Tankers Limited, Terminal Manager, Kenneth Azzopardi, indicates that the consignee of the oil was Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises LTD.

Njeri also produced the tanker (a ship that carries oil) bill of lading B/L NO. SA499400 indicating that the ship was charted on September 29, from Jeddah Port.

The B/L reveals the charter agreement was between Ann’s Import and Export Enterprise Limited and JSC Ushkuyu. We could not independently establish if JSC Ushkuyu was the same firm listed on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KSE).

The Bill of Lading was issued by Azzopardi on October 3. It was also certified by Doldashev Zhaslan and Erenov Ayan and stamped as authentic documents.

“For a month, the oil has been here without being downloaded. I was selling the oil through the CIF. I was pressured to sell to off-takes, but I refused,” said Njeri.

Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) is an international shipping agreement where a seller of goods covers the costs, insurance, and freight of a buyer's order while the cargo is in transit.

But KPA said the ship loaded 93, 4660.46 metric tons of Gasoil under four bills of landing serialized 13768-000010-13 between 26 and 28 September at Yahnbui – Samref Terminal.

“After she departed for anchorage at Jeddah, where she arrived on October 29 for cargo dopping and sampling. On September 30, 2023, she departed for Mombasa,” said KPA Board Chairman Benjamin Tayari.

KPA said that on October 11, MT Haigui tendered her notice of readiness and called the Port of Mombasa under the Agency of Sturrock Shipping Limited.

The agent, KPA said, requested the ship to be brought alongside, and KPA piloted the vessel into the terminal, where she berthed on November 4, to discharge the Gasoil.

“Out of the manifested 93, 460.46metric tons of Gasoil, 46,091.724 metric tons was destined for Kenya with the shipper being M/S Aramco Trading Furairah as nominated by the Ministry of Energy ND Petroleum,” said Tayari.

He said that KPA had noted “the circulation of a purported Original Bill of Lading of Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises Limited to be a forgery."

Yesterday, Njeri’s lawyer, Cliff Ombeta, insisted the documents were genuine, saying she would have been charged, if they were a forgery and not be intimidated by unknown individuals.

“The documents KPA produced are doctored. She never gave them the originals. We have mentioned top government officials and DCI officers she met, and none has denied,” said Ombeta.

On Monday, KPA top managers led by the chairman issued a statement dismissing Njeri’s account, claiming that her documents were a forgery.

Tayari claimed that the bill of lading Njeri was peddling as the documents for the importation of the 100,000 metric tonnes of diesel from Turkey were not genuine.

He also denied claims that the woman had been to the port to process the importation documents for the oil in question imported by Ann’s Import and Export Company.

“We have the genuine documents of the company that imported the oil in question, which arrived in the port on November 4 and discharged on November 5 when it was 93,460 metric tonnes. We have never seen this woman in the port, and if she had a problem, she could have brought it to us,” said Tayari, who read the KPA statement.

According to KPA, out of 93,460 tonnes of oil 49,091 tonnes of oil was destined for Kenya, while 44,368 was in transit to Uganda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tayari admitted the matter was in court but added that KPA had not been served with documents to enable them file a reply.

KPA had not filed its response by yesterday but another firm mentioned in the deal, Galana said ARAMCO nominated them to supply automotive gas oil (AGO), and they entered into a tripartite agreement with KPC and KCB to finance the consignment.

Galana Chief Executive Officer Anthony Munyasya noted that they chattered MT Haigui from the Hotlen Shipping Limited partnership, which was loaded with 93,460.46 metric tons of AGO at the port of Yaribu in Saudi Arabia on September 28, 2023.

“The vessel went to Jeddah anchorage on September 28 2023, for cargo doping and arrived at the port of Mombasa on October 11, 2023," he said.

He claimed that the diesel imported by Njeri was not the one specified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

Munyasya said it was impossible for a vessel that loaded at the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to have docked in Mombasa within two days.

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