The Kenya Ports Authority has denied knowledge of the missing Ann Njeri Njoroge, who her lawyers claim imported 100,000 metric tonnes of diesel worth Sh17 billion into the country.
Njeri has mysteriously disappeared after recording a statement at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations last Thursday over the diesel, according to her lawyer Cliff Ombeta, who is expected to file a habeas corpus application at the Mombasa High Court on Tuesday.
KPA chairman Benjamin Tayari and managing director Captain William Ruto on Monday said Njeri’s claim of ownership of the diesel is hot air, further adding that she forged documents to steal the fuel from the government.
“The consignees of the respective portions of the bulk cargo are listed in the manifest submitted by the ship’s agent and KPA confirms that Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises Limited is not one of the manifested consignees,” Tayari said at the KPA boardroom where they had called a press conference.
Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises Limited is the company Njeri said she used to import the diesel, as she has been doing for over 30 years.
According to KPA, the shipper of the consignment is Aramco Trading Fujairah and the consignee is Galana Energies.
Aramco is one of only three International Oil Companies (IOC) appointed by the government to supply oil to Kenya and Galana Energies is one of three counterparties allowed to import oil into the country on behalf of the three IOCs.
Tayari said the bill of lading that was produced by Njeri’s lawyers listed her as the shipper and consignee of the cargo and that it was loaded onto MT Haigui in Jeddah Islamic Port, Saudi Arabia on October 9.
“Unlike Bills of Lading, the document is signed by the stated shipper and not the Master of the Vessel. The cargo said to be manifested in the purported Bill of Lading is 100,00kg (84MT) only, which is approximately 0.09 per cent of the total product on board MT Haigui,” Tayari said.
MD Ruto said Njeri has never set foot at the port and they do not know her.
This is despite Njeri having reported the matter at the port police station under OB 21/04/11/2023.
“She has not been here. We have not seen her,” Ruto said.
The KPA said MT Haigui loaded her cargo indicated as gasoil totalling 93,460 metric tonnes between September 26 and September 28 at Yanbui-Samref terminal in Saudi Arabia and departed for anchorage at Jeddah and arrived on September 29 for cargo dopping and sampling.
On September 30, she departed for Mombasa.
On October 11, MT Haigui tendered her notice of readiness and called the Mombasa port under the agency of Sturrock Shipping (Kenya) Ltd.
“The agent requested for the ship to be brought alongside and KPA piloted the vessel into the terminal where she berthed on November 4 at 0840hrs,” Tayari said.
He said out of the manifested 93,460 metric tonnes of diesel, 49,091 metric tonnes were meant for Kenya, shipped through Aramco and were nominated by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
The other 44,368 metric tonnes were transit cargo meant for Uganda, South Sudan and DRC.
Tayari said MT Hagui commenced discharge on November 5 at 1.42 pm.
“What you hear on both mainstream and social media are story za jaba,” he said.
Ruto said the reported waiting that the ship had to wait is true but that does not mean there was any monkey business.
“Ships come here, wait, and when their time for berthing comes they are always brought alongside.
“There is a plan normally done by Kenya Pipeline Company and the shipping agent and once that is confirmed is when we can bring the ship,” Ruto said.
Ombeta on Saturday said they obtained a court order stopping the ship from discharging any cargo or leaving the port but Tayari on Monday received no court order to that effect.
“All the documents concerning this ship are what we have here. We have not received any other document from anywhere else,” the chairman said.
He said the DCI would reveal the truth about all allegations made by all parties involved in the saga including Njeri.
Ruto said no one has lodged any complaint about their cargo missing or having been interfered with.
“About Ann, we don’t know her and have never met her. It is something we read on social media,” Ruto said.