Njeri's whereabouts still a mystery amid claims Sh17b oil may have been siphoned

Business lady Anne Njeri Njoroge who had imported 100,000 metric tonnes of oil diesel worth Sh17 billion. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The circumstances surrounding the battle of a vessel carrying Sh17 billion oil cargo continue to elicit various reactions from Kenyans.

Even so, fresh fears have emerged that some people could have been siphoning the diesel amid the dispute over ownership.

The cargo was linked to Dubai and Kilifi-based businesswoman Anne Njeri Njoroge of Ann’s Import and Exports Limited.

A family contact has claimed that the oil cargo could have been offloaded after Njeri’s efforts to sell the products to the government hit a dead end.

“The vessel was released back to the high seas after the matter went public on Saturday and more reports about the whole deal emerged,” the contact stated.

Adding that, “Usually, all kind of cargo are tracked using a feeder which shows what is happening including activities within the vessel, we suspect that the oil was siphoned by the time is was released.”

Meanwhile, Njeri’s whereabouts remain unclear. A source intimated that she could still be under the custody of sleuths at the DCI headquarters where she had visited to record a statement on Thursday.

The vessels arrived in the country on October 11 and could not be allowed to offload after another company claimed the ownership of the ship under unclear circumstances.

On November 4, Njeri was informed that the ship had docked at the port yet she had not authorised it to dock in Kenya.

According to the family source, while Njeri has been seeking other alternatives to offload, the cargo was being siphoned against her consent.

“When the matter was reported to police after it emerged that there were attempts to offload, port authorities stopped the activities but it seems the vessel was moved to a safer place,” the contact explained.

“It is shocking to us that all this is happening yet there was a court ruling set for Tuesday to determine the ownership of the oil cargo,” the source added.

“From the systems that we are using, it shows the remaining amount is about eight metres in height but we are not sure if the systems have been tampered with.”

The source added that Njeri had found a buyer from Tanzania when the local deal did not go through at the time the ship was still in the deep sea but it was mysteriously pulled to the port where local authorities took charge.

“Sometime early this year when the country was hit with fuel shortage, Njeri imported the fuel but the ship was not allowed to dock for about one month,” she added.

On Saturday, Njeri’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta who was in Mombasa claimed that two companies had claimed ownership of the 100,000 metric tons of the said diesel.

For this reason, Njeri filed a case at Mombasa High Court in October and successfully stopped the Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Pipeline from offloading the diesel.

The court barred the vessel from leaving the port and also stopped the discharge and offloading of the oil. Ombeta told the press that Njeri had imported the diesel from Turkey with her partner.  

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