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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Multi-million Likoni fuel smuggling syndicate

Unscrupulous businesspeople allegedly working in cahoots with police at Likoni in Mombasa county are flooding the market with unaccustomed fuel in a syndicate that has cost taxpayers millions of shillings, sources say.
Fuel siphoned from merchant ships in the high seas late at night is packed in drums and later transported by motor boats to the ocean shore where it is then picked up for market on the island for distribution to clients who in turn sell the commodity to matatu and boda boda operators at discounted prices.
It is claimed the police collect “protection fee” from the well established smugglers and as such, the illicit trade has grown into a multi-million shilling empire. A top CID officer in Likoni is reportedly the godfather of the smuggling deals.
It was not immediately clear if customs officials are involved in the fuel smuggling ordeal but a source pointed out that the illicit trade had spread tentacles to the extent that the dealers have entangled various actors through corruption.
At the same time, a section of traders at the port of Mombasa purporting to be sludge operators are involved in petrol and diesel smuggling from ships. The traders have obtained licences from KPA and Nema claiming that their business is to handle waste oil from ships docking at the port of Mombasa.
Investigations revealed that the alleged sludge tankers are used to transport siphoned diesel from ships to be sold to independent petrol stations operators.
Apart from carrying petrol and diesel disguised as sludge, there are claims that the tankers also transport elephant tusks and drugs in and out of port.