The Kenya Ports Authority has thrown a spanner to the works on the ongoing court tussle between 2 companies on the ownership of the oil consignment delivered at the port by ship vessel MT Haigui.
In a statement, KPA Board Chairman Benjamin Tayari said Ann Njeri of Ann’s Import and Exports is not the owner of the gas oil worth KSh 17 billion.
Njeri has been reported missing after obtaining orders to stop some oil marketers from offloading 93,460.46 metric tons from the vessel.
“The consignees and their respective portions of the bulk cargo are listed in the Manifest submitted by the Ship’s Agent and KPA confirms that M/s Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises Limited is not one of the manifested consignees,” Tayari noted.
According to KPA, the consignment belongs to Aramco Trading Fujairah with 49,091.724MT destined to Kenya with the remainder being 44,368.736MT of Gasoil was transit cargo for neighboring countries including Uganda, South Sudan and the DRC.
Galana Energies Ltd and M/s Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises Limited had laid claim to the 93,460.46 metric tones of the said diesel which commenced discharge at New Oil Kipevu on 5 November 2023 at 1342HRS.
“Further, copies of MT Haigui’s ownership documents in KPA’s possession do not show Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises Limited as the owner of MT Haigul,” KPA Board Chairman noted.
The court had given Njeri orders barring the discharge and offloading of the oil and barred the vessel from leaving the port.
Her counsel Cliff Ombeta told the court she had imported the diesel with her Israel partner from Turkey and passed through the port of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia commencing the journey on 9th October.
KPA has however poked holes on that saying the voyage duration from Jeddah anchorage to Mombasa was ten days, and therefore it is impracticable for the vessel to have been loaded in Jeddah on 9 October 2023, yet she arrived in Mombasa on 11 October 2023.
“Loading date indicated as 9 October 2023 which contradicts the ship’s actual loading date between 26 and 28 September 2023. Further, the vessel actually arrived in Mombasa on 11 October 2023, which is only 2 days after the purported loading date, not correct,”Tayari stated.
Njeri had presented documents indicating that the origin of the cargo as Azerbeijan Republic and loaded at Jeddah but the documents in possession of KPA show the origin being Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
Other anomalies that KPA cited include the Ship’s stamp which they stated was not identical to vessel’s (MT Haigui’s) stamp and that document verifying possession by M/s Ann’s Import and Export Enterprises not signed by the Master of the Vessel which is a standard of procedure.
“The product is indicated as Diesel EN590 10 PPM. This is contrary to the manifested cargo which is Gasoil cleared under KEBS pre-import inspection as KS EAS 177 50 PPM) c. The Gross Tonnage of the vessel is indicated as 100,000. This is contrary to the actual tonnage of 61,338 GT,” the statement added.
According to the statement, Ombeta claims that Njeri is in the DCI custody despite them denying claims that his lawyer David Chumo who accompanied her to the DCI headquarters left her with investigation officers.
For fuel imports to Kenya, KPA and all other agencies involved are required to adhere to the existing Government-to-Government arrangement by counterchecking shippers duly appointed by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, and that the consignee(s) are licensed by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
Njeri is not a licensed Oil Marketer and she had shipped the oil with the intent of selling to oil dealers from the neighboring countries.
In the court documents, Njeri was surprised when she received information that the vessel was headed for offloading at New Oil Kipevu yet that wasn’t the destined destination hence she rushed to court to impede the move.