Police Burst Mutomo Fuel Cartel

An operation by police in Mutomo, Kitui South, have recovered 3, 335 litres of diesel said to have been stolen from Sinohydro Corporation which is tarmacking the Kitui � Kibwezi road.

Kitui County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich told KNA Thursday that the fuel, valued at Sh266, 000, was pillaged from the firm’s site at Ikutha, approximately 30 kilometres from Mutomo Town where 20 drums of diesel were found stashed in a warehouse.

He said the police officers, who were in the company of senior Sinohydro officials, were acting on a tip off from members of the public.

The County boss revealed that one suspect, identified as Bernard Mbithi, was nabbed during the crackdown and would appear in court today.

Police have been investigating the matter for over three months but the suspects have been evading dragnets till yesterday when they made a major breakthrough in the case, said the official.

We also suspect that the cartel members are working in cahoots with some employees of the road construction firm but we will eventually get to the bottom of the scheme, he added.

The operation was led by Mutomo Sub-County Commissioner Jeremiah Tumo and Ikutha police boss Kingsford Nyagah.

Mr. Cherutich also issued a stern warning to unscrupulous businessmen conducting the illegal fuel trade that the law would catch up with them because they were doing a disservice to the county and the country and large.

Let those involved in the illegal fuel trade be warned that we will not allow anyone to interfere with smooth running of the road works at the expense of development for Kitui residents, he added.

Cherutich said the recovered fuel was transported to Mutomo Police Station as investigations into the fuel syndicate to necessitate arrest and prosecution of other culprits still at large.

The 192-kilometer Kitui � Kibwezi road, which is reportedly the only Class B road countrywide that has not been tarmacked since Kenya’s independence in 1963, is being upgraded to bitumen standards at an estimated cost of S8.4 billion.

Source: Kenya News Agency