The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction of the vessel the M.T. Anuket Emerald and the shipmen on board for illegal dealings in petroleum products. Those arrested include nationals from Russia, Ukraine, the Philippines, and Georgia.
They were previously arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos on June 10th, 2015 on four counts of conspiracy and illegal dealings in petroleum products. The convicts pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to a press release circulated by the EFCC, “during trial the prosecution called seven witnesses while the defense called three.”
It went on to state “the captain alongside two Russians jumped bail after the prosecution had closed its case.”
Justice Buba, who presided over the case, entered the verdict of guilty on all the accused saying that the “prosecution proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt.”
For the three accused who fled Nigeria, Justice Buba sentenced them to five years in prison without the option of a fine. The eleven other shipmen of the M.T. Anuket were sentenced to two years imprisonment with the option of a N1 million fine each.
The vessel and cargo on board the M.T. Anuket was ordered to be forfeited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.