Ksh1.5B Kipevu fuel jet case: Oil tycoon Devani skips court proceedings for third time

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 15 Apr, 2024 13:16 | 2 mins read
Yagnesh Mohanlal Devani. PHOTO/Screengrab/YouTube.

Oil tycoon Yagnesh Mohanlal Devani on Monday skipped court proceedings for the third time in the Ksh 1.5 billion Kipevu fuel jet scandal.

When the matter came up for mention to confirm whether Devani had been arrested as per earlier order, his lawyer Moses Kurgat did not explain his whereabouts and why he had not attended court.

But in a surprise move, Kurgat informed the trial court that he had filed an application asking the court to excuse his client from attending court mentions without elaborating on the reasons why Devani wants to keep away.

On his side, the DPP through prosecutor Eliphas Ombati informed the court he is yet to be served with the application.

Consequently, Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Robinson Ondieki ordered the defence lawyer to serve the DPP with the application before the hearing on April 29, 2024.

Devani is being sought by police after the court last month issued an arrest warrant when he skipped court proceedings on March 26, 2024.

While issuing the warrant of arrest as sought by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Magistrate noted that Devani, who is out on Ksh1 million cash bail, had developed a tendency of not appearing in court for mention of his case unless compelled by the court.

Ombati urged the court to issue a warrant of arrest against the businessman after he failed to appear in court for the pretrial conference of his case without an explanation.

"We ask the court to issue an arrest order against Devani as the date was taken in the presence of the accused person and his lawyers," Prosecutor Ombati told the Magistrate.

While seeking the arrest warrant, the prosecution termed Devani's behaviour of not attending court as absurd since on February 12, 2024, the court again had to compel him to appear in court within 30 minutes for the mention of the case.

Devani, who had been on the run for 16 years, was extradited to Kenya from Britain in January 2024 and was detained at Muthaiga police station.

On January 23, 2024, police presented him before Magistrate Ondieki where he denied four counts preferred against him over the irregular sale of petroleum products acquired through loan facilities given to his firm Triton by KCB bank.

According to the prosecution, Devani used his company Triton to carry out the business.

He left for the United Kingdom when his co-accused were charged and the court issued a warrant of arrest against him.

The charges against him state that between April 23 and December 4, 2008, at Kipevu Oil Storage Facility in Mombasa county, jointly with others before the court, he stole 2,000 metric tonnes of Automotive Gas Oil valued at $215,934, the property of KCB.

The court was told that between May 15, 2008, and December 4, 2008, at the Kipevu oil storage facility within Mombasa County, jointly with others not before the Court, stole 418.134 metric tons of motor spirit premium valued at $438,031.10, the property of Kenya Commercial Bank.

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