Police intercept lorry enroute Nairobi, seize vandalised Kenya Power material worth millions

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 24 May, 2024 13:22 | 3 mins read
Police yellow tape at a crime scene. PHOTO/ Pexels.
Police yellow tape at a crime scene. PHOTO/ Pexels.

Following a tip-off from the public, police have intercepted a lorry ferrying vandalised Kenya Power material worth millions.

The lorry was en route to Nairobi from Kitale before it was seized by law enforcement officers in Eldoret Town. In a well-choreographed operation, the police accompanied by Kenya Power officials recovered essential copper wires among other material used by the utility firm.

According to a senior police officer who led the operation, the copper wires were stashed in sacks and concealed between other scrap metals transported to Nairobi.

An electric grid. PHOTO/https://web.facebook.com/KenyaPowerLtd
An electric grid. PHOTO/https://web.facebook.com/KenyaPowerLtd.

"This is one of the lorries that has been arrested. Our officers and a team from Kenya Power got a tip-off and managed to arrest the lorry carrying KPLC's vandalised materials.

"Today, we searched it and we have found several copper materials which Kenya Power officials have confirmed they are theirs," the senior police officer from Turbo told K24 TV.

Confirming the incident, Kenya Power attributed the operation's success to intensive operation mounted to smoke out unscrupulous businessmen targeting Kenya Power's infrastructure.

The KPLC official lamented over the surging cases of vandalism revealing that the power transmitting company has so far lost 22 transformers in the region. He expressed worry that unless the vandalism is halted, various sectors will suffer from power blackout.

Tuesday power blackout to affect 7 counties
Kenya Power technicians at work. PHOTO/Kenya Power Ltd/Facebook.

"With assistance from DCI officers, we managed to impound the vehicle and we offloaded the content of the lorry and inside we found assorted copper material," he stated.

Following the recovery of the Kenya Power assets, the law enforcement officers appealed to the public to share information that would lead to the apprehension of a syndicate which has become notorious in the region.

"We ask the public to cooperate with us so that we can eradicate the menace of vandalism in our country."

Transformers worth Ksh78 million vandalised

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, Kenya Power Chief Executive Officer Joseph Siror announced that the utility firm has made a loss of Ksh78 million by vandalising 78 transformers. According to Siror, the transformers have only been vandalised since January 2024.

In May 2022 and December 2023, the country lost 441 transformers worth Ksh396 million, Siror further revealed. To curb the menace, Siror called for a ban on copper exports.

Kenya Power's Managing Director & CEO Joseph Siror
Kenya Power's Managing Director & CEO Joseph Siror. PHOTO/Kenya Power Care/Facebook.

“In 2023, the Company lost another 365 transformers worth KShs 328 million, and this year, 78 transformers worth KSh 78 million have been vandalised so far,” Siror stated.

“Our investigations have revealed a direct link between vandalism and copper waste business. For example, between January and May 2022 when the government banned scrap metal dealing, we had zero cases of vandalism. However, immediately after the moratorium was lifted, we saw a serious spike in vandalism cases,” he insisted during a joint stakeholders’ forum attended by representatives from the Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK), the Scrap Metal Council and scrap metal dealers.

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