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Wanted: Yagnesh Mohanlal Devani

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – A Nairobi Court has issued a warrant of arrest for Triton Petroleum Company proprietor Yagnesh Devani, over a Sh7.6 billion fuel scandal.

Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei issued the warrant on Wednesday after a Police Inspector told the court that they could not trace the oil dealer to answer to fraud charges.

Mr Devani is alleged to have fled the country.

The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has sued the businessman, for ‘stealing by agent’ over Sh1 billion guaranteed through various debentures to import crude and refined oil to the Kenyan market.

The huge oil shipment financed by KCB, the principal guarantor of Triton Petroleum – now under receivership – is said to have disappeared from the facility in Mombasa last month.

“Yagnesh Mohanlal Devani: On diverse dates between 31st July 2008 and 1st August 2008 at Kenya Commercial Bank Moi Avenue in Nairobi within Nairobi jointly with others not before the court stole $12,247,873, the property of M/S Kenya Commercial Bank,” said the charge sheet.

KCB said it entrusted Devani with a fuel consignment to jointly hold it in safe custody with the Kenya Pipeline Company on account of Triton Petroleum Limited and the bank.

The case will be mentioned on January 28.

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Triton had won the October oil importation tender delivery for the entire industry that was scheduled to be offloaded in December. The current open tender system allows one player to supply most of the industry demand.

The oil dealer collapsed last month with billions of shillings owed to KCB, other dealers and international financiers.


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