What you need to know:
- KPA board chairman says apart from dates, the purported bill of lading indicated the cargo originated from Azerbaijan Republic, loaded in Jeddah, while the vessel indicated it originated at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
- The KPA MD on the other hand said they did not receive any official complaint from the company claiming the product nor did they receive any purported court order stopping the offloading of the cargo.
- Information from KPA indicates MT Haigui loaded diesel totalling 93,460.46 metric tonnes (MT) where 49,091.72MT was destined for Kenya under the shipper M/s Aramco Trading Fujairah while 44,368.73MT was for transit to Uganda, South Sudan and the DRC.
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has disputed documents by a businesswoman who is claiming ownership of Sh17 billion worth of diesel, saying they were fake and meant to steal the petroleum product.
KPA managing director William Ruto and the authority’s chairman Benjamin Tayari presented documents showing the original transactions of the manifested 93,460 metric tonnes of diesel.
“KPA has noted circulation of a purported original bill of lading of Ann’s Import and Export Enterprise who claims to be shipper and consignee of cargo loaded onto MT Haigui in Jeddah Islamic Port Saudi Arabia on 9th October 2023. We have genuine documents and those being circulated are fake and are being investigated by government agencies to establish the motive of the businesswoman,” said Mr Tayari.
Mr Tayari said the bill of lading used by Ms Ann Njoroge, the proprietor of Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises, was fake considering they were signed by one person as a shipper and consignee while the stamp in the document is not identical to the vessel’s (MT Haigui’s) stamp even as the importing dates remained unclear on when the ship was loaded at Jeddah.
“The voyage duration from Jeddah anchorage to Mombasa was 10 days and, therefore, it is impracticable for the vessel to have been loaded in Jeddah on 9th October 2023 yet she arrived in Mombasa on 11th October 2023,” said the chairman.
While addressing the media at the KPA headquarters in Mombasa, Mr Tayari said that apart from dates, the purported bill of lading indicated the cargo originated from Azerbaijan Republic, loaded in Jeddah, while the vessel indicated it originated at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
The KPA MD on the other hand said they did not receive any official complaint from the company claiming the product nor did they receive any purported court order stopping the offloading of the cargo.
“As KPA, we have not met Ms Njoroge who is claiming the diesel which has raised questions why a company not authorised to import petroleum products under the government-to-government arrangement is bringing in such kind of products,” said Captain Ruto.
Information from KPA indicates MT Haigui loaded diesel totalling 93,460.46 metric tonnes (MT) where 49,091.72MT was destined for Kenya under the shipper M/s Aramco Trading Fujairah while 44,368.73MT was for transit to Uganda, South Sudan and the DRC.
For the past few days, there has been a fierce dispute between Ann's Import and Export Enterprises Ltd and Galana Energies Ltd over the ownership of the cargo and who should offload it.
And the case to be heard today (November 14), happens after the vessel offloaded and sailed to India on Sunday.
The High Court in Mombasa had stopped KPA and Kenya Pipeline Company Ltd (KPC) from offloading the cargo until Ann's Import and Export Enterprises Ltd’s claim over the goods is heard and determined.
Justice Kizito Magare certified the case as urgent and directed KPA and KPC to file their documents within 48 hours.
“A warrant of arrest was issued against the Motor Vessel Haigui laden with cargo Diesel EN590. An order is hereby issued restraining discharge and offloading of cargo, being diesel EN590,” said the judge.
Justice Magare issued the orders after the company, through its director Ann Njoroge moved to court to seek its intervention after Galana Energies Ltd allegedly laid claim to the cargo.
It is alleged in the document that the KPA had recalled the vessel to Kipevu port for offloading the cargo and discharging the same to Galana Energies Ltd.
“I am apprehensive of other unscrupulous claims, the KPA is likely to offload and discharge the vessel in favour of Galana Energies Ltd or any other third parties who may be laying similar baseless claims apart from the claimant herein who is the consignee and owner of the said cargo,” she said through advocates David Chumo and Cliff Ombeta.
Ms Njoroge told the court that the cargo was procured through various financial facilities and insurers hence she will stand exposed to huge financial losses as well as legal claims from its insurers and financiers should it be released to Galana Energies Ltd.
“Unless the instant application is heard expeditiously the orders herein granted, the said cargo will be offloaded and discharged to KPA or any such party and payment made to Galana Energies Ltd or any such third party who is not the consignee. My claim herein shall be rendered nugatory occasioning great financial loss,” she said
However, Galana Energies Ltd has insisted that it is duly licensed by the Energy Petroleum and Regulation Authority (EPRA) to import petroleum products, and as a supplier of the products and services within the country.
Galana also indicates in the court documents that it has a transport and storage agreement (TSA) with the KPC for the storage of fuel consignments arriving in the country.
“No person can import petroleum into the country without a licence or transport and storage agreement,” the company said through its chief executive officer Anthony Munyasya .
Mr Munyasya said the company wrote to EPRA on November 9, enquiring on whether Ann's Import and Export Enterprises Ltd has a licence duly issued by EPRA and Transport Storage Agreement.
“The response by EPRA confirmed that the claimant has never been licensed to import petroleum products into Kenya and did not have a TSA. The claimant has concealed material facts. I also verily believe that the claimant has also made false statements in its pleadings before the court,” said the CEO.
The government had in a notice number 3 of 2023, introduced the framework for importation of refined petroleum products for sale in Kenya and transit markets through a government-to-government arrangement.
“Under the Petroleum Regulations, 2023, the importation of petroleum is centrally coordinated by the ministry responsible for petroleum,” the notice said
According to Mr Munyasya, the government appointed three International Oil Companies (IOC), pursuant to these regulations to supply oil to Kenya.
These firms are Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and ARAMCO Trading Fujairah (Aramco).
“The IOCs under the government-to-government arraignment have nominated Gulf Energy Ltd, Galana Energies Ltd and Oryx Energies Kenya Ltd as their counterparties to import petroleum products into the country on their behalf. Ann's Import and Export Enterprises Ltd has not been nominated to import any petroleum products into the country,” said Mr Munyasya,
He further claims that Aramco nominated Galana as its counterparty to handle the importation of petroleum products.
The company further noted that Aramco engaged it to supply Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) 50PPM.
“To finance this consignment, Galana entered into a tripartite agreement involving the KPC Ltd and KCB bank, which issued a Letter of Credit. The consignment is collateral (security) for the Letter of Credit,” said the chief executive officer.
Mr Munyasya further said that the consignment is part of the supply required to meet the country’s fuel requirements and has been allocated to various Oil Marketing Companies who are the off-takers.
At the same time, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has been sued over the missing businesswoman.
David Chumo & Advocates has filed the case at the Mombasa Court, where he is seeking various orders, including the production of Ms Ann Njoroge before court.
According to the advocate, Ms Njoroge has been in custody since November 9 when she visited the DCI headquarters to record her statement over the cargo.
“It is in the interest of justice that this application be heard urgently and orders sought herein be granted to obviate the impending prejudice, harassment, irreparable financial loss and unlawful detention of Ms Njoroge,” said Mr Chumo in court documents.
The advocate wants an order in the nature of habeas corpus be issued directed to Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome and DCI Amin Mohamed to either produce Ms Njoroge or her body in court.
Mr Chumo has also asked the court to order that Mr Koome and Mr Mohamed or their authorised representatives to appear in court with the original of any warrant or order of detention to show why Ms Njoroge should not be released forthwith and unconditionally.
Alternatively, the advocate wants the court to order any officer in the area in which Ms Njoroge is being held to release her on bail or on such terms and conditions as the court deems fit to grant.
“Upon hearing and determination of this application, this court is pleased to order that Ms Njoroge be released forthwith. The court should also determine that her constitutional rights have been infringed on,” said Mr Chumo.
The advocate also wants the court to bar both the DCI and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions from prosecuting the businesswoman in relation to the same course of action.