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KCB seizes Triton assets worth Sh1.5bn

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – The recovery process and investigations into Sh2.5 billion lost by Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) to Triton Company in an ongoing oil scandal are in top gear.

KCB Cooperate Affairs Director Kepha Bosire said on Wednesday that Triton has a large number of valuable properties in the country that could be used to recover the money that the bank lost in the deal.

“We have so far recovered about Sh1.5 billion worth of property that should be shared between us and another creditor to the company,” Mr Bosire revealed.

He however refused to comment further on the matter citing bank-client confidentiality clauses and the fact that the issue is in court.

On the other hand, Mr Bosire revealed that the bank in its unaudited results of September 2008 reported a net loan  portfolio of Sh88.1 billion, with a bad debt of under Sh2 billion.

“To be sincere, the Triton debt is quite minimal. It is only a big deal because the money was lost under fraudulent circumstances,” he said.

Speaking to Capital Business, the Director reassured that the bank’s strategic plans for the year have in no way been affected by this debt and committed that KCB was determined to recover this money.

“We will provide for this debt at the end of the year according to the laid out CBK guidelines if need be,” he assured.

Meanwhile in light of the ongoing scandal, Mr Bosire was of the opinion that the bigger issue should be how to re-establish a proper secure petroleum supply system, now that the one in place has been tampered with causing jitters in the sector.

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The scandal deepened on Tuesday with the resignation of the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (PIEA) Chief Executive George Wachira and an admission by the Energy Permanent Secretary Patrick Nyoike that he was willing to resign if he was found guilty of any wrongdoing.

According to a statement from the embattled PIEA boss, his decision was advised by threats by members of the institute that they would quit if he did not leave.

Mr Wachira however said that he would remain a member of the Kenya Pipeline Company board until advised otherwise.    

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