Former AFC Leopards Chair Dan Mule in court for running illegal gas business
Former Chairman of AFC leopards Dan Mule has for the last two years been involved in an illegal gas trade business, a Nairobi court has been told.
Head of Investigations Compliance Petroleum Institute of East Africa Clive Mutiso informed Milimani magistrate Esther Kimilu that Mule has been operating an illegal gas business in Embakasi and Athi River for over two years.
"Mule had constructed an illegal LPG refilling facility at Embakasi and Athi River," the court heard.
While testifying in a case where Mule who is also the director of Wajiji International company has been charged, Mutiso informed the court that the accused person had opened the first illegal gas refilling cylinders business near Embakasi Police Station.
The witness said that investigations into the former AFC leopards chairman's company started early last year after they received complaints from various gas brand owners namely Kgas, Total, Egas, Pro-gas amongst others over malpractices.
"l did receive complaints from our various members in Embakasi that a lot of cylinders retailed and passed to customers are illegally refilled. Most of these cylinders do not have seals whatsoever as usual," Petroleum investigator Mutiso stated.
Among the gas cylinders, the accused person was found refilling their cylinders illegally include Kgas, Total, Jashi Afrigas, E-gas and Pro-gas.
Mutiso further told the trial magistrate that after a probe, they discovered that various distribution gas vehicles did not originate from their petroleum institute of East Africa suppliers or distributors themselves.
"We profiled these vehicles and they did lead us to various sites but on this matter, some vehicles did lead us to a site in Embakasi near Embakasi police station owned by the accused in the dock Mule," Mutiso informed the court.
He added that "Our Investigations revealed that the facility was operated by the owner using the name Dan Mule under Wajiji International company."
Mutiso informed the court that at the entrance of the Mule's illegal gas business near Embakasi police station were several distribution vehicles parked outside and the facility had high fenced walls which also neighboured some residential buildings.
"By visual of the same facility and its location it is clear the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) would not have licensed it. We confirmed with EPRA who said they had not licensed Mule's facility to operate such kind of a business" Mutiso said.
The court also heard that during their surveillance of the business facility they did discover that Mule had installed an LPG Machine that they found refilling their own members’ brand cylinders.
"Having confirmed the facility was illegal it was refilling our members gas cylinders illegally and operating illegally we made a report to the DCI officers," Mutiso said.
On February 2, 2020, DCI boss George Kinoti allocated the petroleum investigator Mutiso to his officers who raided Mule's facility in Embakasi.
"Upon arrival with DCI officers from the gate, it was clear the business was ongoing as there were cylinders being refilled and the LPG was running. Next to the gate, there were vehicles queuing for distribution," said Mutiso in his evidence.
The court heard that upon knocking at the doors Mule's employees freed the facility through the walls to neighbouring homes leaving the machines running.
"All these motor vehicles found at the premises did not appear on the Epra licensing website and also did not appear to our members' transporter and ought not to have been at the illegal site," said the witness
Mutiso further stated that the DCI officers took an inventory of all the equipment, LPG Machine, gas cylinders and various vehicles found on the premises which were tabled as evidence in the matter.
Following the closure of the business at Embakasi, the court heard that Mule went ahead and opened another similar illegal gas business at Athi River where on November 11, 2020, was also raided by officers.
On January 26, this year after both sites in Embakasi and Athi River were demolished Mule went ahead and opened another illegal business just opposite the Embakasi police station which was later raided and two LPG machines were confiscated.
In the matter, former AFC Leopard’s chairman Mule has been charged with refilling gas without a license.
Mule has other six criminal cases pending before court related to similar offences.