Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC witness, Mr Abdullahi Allaya, on Wednesday, informed a Lagos Federal High Court, how 14 foreign nationals, who were accused of illegal dealing in petroleum products within Nigeria territorial waters, carried out the transaction without any licence or permit.
Allaya stated this while giving evidence in a suit filed by EFCC against the 14 foreigners and three vessels over alleged illegal dealing in petroleum product.
The accused, among them three Russians, Arthur Pakhladzhian, Vasaliy Shkundich, Kretov Andrey; one Japanees, Sergio Abgarian, three Ukrainian,Vitalis Biluos, Laguta Olesksiy, Chepikov Oleksan.
The others seven were Britons; Hilarion Teofilo Regipor JR, Cadavis Gerardo, Baduria Benjamin, Naranjo Allian Antero JR; Patro Christian, Alcayde Joel, Carantiquit Micheal Bryan.
While the three vessels allegedly used by the accused are: MT Anuket Emerald, Monjasa DMCC, and Glencore Energy UK Ltd.
The accused foreigners are standing trial before the court on four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful dealing and storage of Petroleum products without lawful authority.
Allaya told the court that the accused imported petroleum product into Nigeria Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) without any proper documentation maintaining that there were evidence that the accused and their vessels carried out some transactions within Nigeria territorial waters and its EEZ without any licence from Nigeria
He said all the relevant authorities responsible for issuing licences concerning maritime activities in Nigeria replied EFCC letters, confirming that no licence or permit was issued to the accused to carry out transactions within the country’s water.
The EFCC prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedipo, who led the witness in evidence, tendered some documents to confirm that the accused carried the alleged illegal transaction in Nigeria. The documents were admitted as evidence.
However, after the testimony of the witness, Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned the case to Oct. 5 for cross examination of the witness.
The EFCC had on June 10, arraigned 14 foreign nationals over alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products.
The prosecutor had informed the court that the accused committed the alleged offences in February 27, within the jurisdiction of the court.
He had also informed the Court that the accused allegedly stored 1,500 metric tons of Automated Gas Oil inside the MT Anuket Emerald’s Cargo tank.
They had also stored 3,035 metric tons of Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) in other tanks.
Oyedepo had said that the offences contravened Sections 4, 17, 19(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act and the Petroleum Act, Laws of Federation.