Illegal Oil Bunkering: Court admits vessel, MT Anuket Emerald as exhibit

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos has admitted MT Anuket Emerald, a vessel allegedly used for illegal dealing in petroleum product as exhibit.

Justice Buba alongside the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, the defence counsel, Babajide Koku, SAN and the captain of the vessel, Pakhladzhian Artur, were at the Nigeria Navy Beecroft on November 13 to inspect the vessel where it was admitted as exhibit.

During the inspection, Abdulahi Alaya, a Senior Detective Superintendent of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) testified that MT Anuket Emerald with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number 9393644 was the vessel and that it had petroleum products onboard.

The prosecution counsel, Oyedepo also tendered the cargo onboard the vessel and the logbook, which were admitted by the judge as exhibits.

MT Anuket was intercepted on March 8, 2015, by officers of the Nigerian Navy, during a routine patrol within Nigerian waters.

Further investigation by the EFCC revealed that the registered owner of the vessel is Combe Shipping Limited and the beneficial owner is Alliance Tankers Incorporated and that the ship flies Panama Flag with IMO number 9393644. Furthermore, it was discovered that Monjasa DMCC of Dubai UAE are the chatterers of the vessel.

Count one of the charge reads, “That you MT Anuket Emerald, Monjasa DMCC, Glencore Energy UK Limited, Artur Pakhalazhian, Sergo Abgarian, Vasily Shkundich, Vitaliy Bilous, Hilarion Teofilo Regipor JR, Laguta Oleksiy, Cadavis Gerardo, Kretov Andrey, Baduria Benjamin, Chepikov Oleksan, Naranjo Allian Antero JR, Patero Christian, Alcayde Joel and Caratiquit Micheal Bryan on or about the 27th day of February, 2015 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court conspired among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: dealing in petroleum products without lawful authority or appropriate licence and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 19(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 17 of the same Act”.


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