Government Takes Action Against Illicit Petroleum Trade Amid Security Concerns

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In a response to the recent tragedy at an illegal gas plant in Embakasi, which claimed ten lives, the government has intensified efforts to combat illicit trade in petroleum products, citing it as a significant security threat.

Internal Security and National Administration Principal Secretary, Dr. Raymond Omollo, highlighted the need for new measures to address illegal activities within the petroleum sector.

Dr. Omollo emphasized the emergence of security risks posed by illegal petroleum facilities, product adulteration, and unauthorized transportation along highways.

He announced the establishment of an Energy Police Unit (EPU) to safeguard critical petroleum infrastructure and called for a collaborative approach involving government agencies, industry stakeholders, and the public to combat illicit trade.

During a briefing organized by the Petroleum Institute of East Africa (Piea), Dr. Omollo stressed the importance of protecting energy infrastructure from potential threats for national safety. He proposed leveraging advanced technology for monitoring supply chains and urged stricter penalties for offenders involved in illicit activities.

In response to the Embakasi incident, the government has shut down 49 unauthorized gas filling plants located near residential areas, out of 138 total operating facilities.

EPRA Director General Daniel Kiptoo affirmed, “All facilities within 200 meters of residential areas have been sealed and shut down since the incident occurred.” The crackdown aims to enhance safety and regulation within the petroleum industry to prevent future tragedies.

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