14 foreign nationals docked for illegal oil bunkering 14 foreign nationals docked for illegal oil bunkering

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, has arraigned fourteen nationals from Russia, Ukraine, Japan and the United Kingdom before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos for alleged involvement in oil bunkering across Nigeria.

The accused identified as, Artur Pakhladzhian, Sergo Abbgarian, Vasily Shkundich, Vitaliy Bilours, Hlarion Regipor, Laguta Oleksiy, Cadavis Gerarado, Kretov Andry, Badurian Benjamin, Chepikov Olksan, Naranjo Antero, Patro Christian, Alcayde Joel and Caratiquit Beyan, alongside their companies where brought before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Lagos Federal High Court.

DAILY POST gathered that the suspects were arraigned for illegal dealing in several thousand metric tons of petroleum products like automotive gas oil, diesel, and low pour fuel oil, LPFO

According to the charge, the action by the foreigners to deal in petroleum products unlawfully is contrary to Section 19(6) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Cap M17, Laws of the Federal of Nigeria, 2004, and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act.

Testifying in court, EFCC’s counsel said the suspects illegally dealt in 1,738.087 metric tons of petroleum product; 1,500 metric tons of automotive gas oil aboard MT Anukret Emerald’s cargo tank and 3,035 metric tons of low pour fuel oil, LPFO, aboard the same cargo on March 27.

While the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges, their lawyer however asked the court to grant them bail on the ground of self-recognition and on liberal terms.

Counsel to EFCC however prayed the court to reject the bail application on the ground of self-recognition, arguing that such can only be enjoyed by Nigerians, adding that stringent conditions should be attached should the court decide to grant the accused bail.

Presiding over the case, Justice Buba, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N50 million each, with one surety in like sum, while the surety must reside in Lagos.

Justice Buba ordered that the accused persons be remanded till the bail conditions are met.

The accused persons however, told the court that they were ready to issue bonds of N750 million bank guarantee, to avoid delay of surety. This was granted by the court subject to the deposit of their passports and all travelling documents with the EFCC.

Buba consequently adjourned the case till June 17, 18 and 19 for trial.

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