Court acquits suspects in Ksh1.9B fuel scandal, cites lack of evidence

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 12 Feb, 2024 14:01 | 2 mins read
Two employees of Triton petroleum company Limited William Mundi, Mahindra Pathak and former KCB bank employee Samson Waka before Milimani Law Courts dock. PHOTO/ Nancy Gitonga

Mahindra Pathak, a former Finance manager with Triton Petroleum Company Limited - the firm at the centre of the multi-billion oil scandal 16 years ago, has been freed by a Nairobi Court for lack of evidence.

A ruling rendered by Milimani senior principal magistrate Zainab Abdul on Monday, February 12, 2024, acquitted Pathak and his former colleague William Mundia, together with former KCB bank employees Samson Waka, Peter Muthungu and Triton Petroleum Company over Ksh1.9 billion fuel 2008 scandal.

The four had been charged with discounting invoices of Triton at KCB amounting to USD12,241,873.90 (Ksh1,946,457,950.10) when no oil had been sold by Triton.

In her decision, Abdul said the Prosecution did not establish a case to enable her Mundia Pathak, Waka and Muthungu in their defence.

"I find the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against the four accused persons to warrant the court place them of their defence. I hereby acquit them under section 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code(CPC)," Magistrate Abdul ruled.

In the case, Magistrate Abdul said no oil was sold to Total Kenya Limited as falsely represented by Triton Petroleum Company Limited in the invoices sent to KCB for payments of the said amount.

In the case, Devani, Mundia Pathak, Waka and Muthungu and Triton Petroleum Company Limited were charged with stealing USD 12,241,873.90 the property of KCB on diverse dates between July 31 and August 1, 2008.

Mundia, Pathak, Waka and Muthungu were tried in the absence of the proprietor of Triton Petroleum Company Limited Yagnesh Mohanlal Devani who the government had applied for his repatriation from the UK where he had fled in 2008.

Devani had fought Kenya's government extradition in the UK which he eventually lost.

Waka and Muthungu, who were employees of KCB, were accused of failing to prevent the commission of an offence namely theft of Ksh1.9 billion the property of the bank.

"Devani had cancelled the four invoices 1070,1078,1080 and 1082 which had been raised to claim payment of the Ksh1.9 billion from KCB, " Abdul ruled

She also questioned why Muthungu and Waka were charged when there were other bank officials who were involved in the authorisation of the payments raised through the four invoices.

She faulted the prosecution and acquitted all of them for lack of evidence.

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