Police in Taita-Taveta County have smashed a cartel operating a multi-million illegal Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) refilling plant in Voi on the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway.
During the multi-agency operation conducted at 3am on Tuesday, police recovered over 1,000kg cylinders of illegal cooking gas.
There are reports that the plant has been operating secretly for many years putting hundreds of LPG consumers in the region at risk.
Speaking at Caanan area during the operation on Tuesday, the County Police Commander (CPC), Said Kiprotich termed the operation as a major blow to the illegal trade along the highway.
He added that four people had been arrested and will be charged with operating illicit gas plants and endangering the lives of the locals.
“This plant is illegal and by refilling gas cylinders without observing the required standards, these greedy businessmen are putting many lives in danger,” he said.
Investigations have commenced on the illegal operation to establish if other people were involved.
High ranking officials led by Regional Director of Criminal Investigations, Joseph Nga’nga visited the concealed plant on a fact-finding mission. Other officials drawn from Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) were also present.
The CPC said police will continue getting rid of illegal businesses on the highway as a way of keeping the public safe.
He urged the members of public to give information to police to help curb crime in the region.
Kiprotich further said agencies like Kenya Power(KP) and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) will be involved to ascertain the level of safety in some of the premises along the highway thought to be having illegal connections.
By Wagema Mwangi