The government of Kenya Wednesday signed deportation papers for Rubis Energie Kenya Managing Director Jean-Christian Bergeron as it fought back against oil marketers it accused of abetting a petroleum crisis through hoarding and higher exports despite shortages in their domestic retail outlets.
High-ranking government sources told the Nation that the MD is accused of economic sabotage, a serious charge that attracts a prison term of up to 10 years as well as a Sh1 million fine.
It was not clear if Mr Bergeron was immediately deported as per the order. Attempts by the Nation to get his comment were not successful by the time of going to press. Calls and text messages to his mobile number went unanswered.
Sources explained the government cracked down on Rubis which it blames for fuelling the crisis given it has a huge share of the local market. The firm is accused of blackmailing the government by demanding higher compensation yet a large consignment of its fuel had reportedly been imported before global prices shot up.
Import quota cuts
This comes just a day after the state approved chops on the import quota allocations of select oil firms as punishment for abetting the petroleum crisis through market distortion. The Petroleum ministry on Tuesday gave a nod to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) to punish some rogue dealers suspected to have caused an artificial shortage in the domestic market.
“We have reviewed your recommendations and wish to inform you that this ministry has no objection to the proposed measures. Please, expedite,” the ministry said in a letter seen by the Nation.
Epra Director-General Daniel Kiptoo, in a letter to Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau, said the regulator had identified firms that had chosen to export fuel at the expense of local consumers.