Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned 14 nationals of four countries and three vessels before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on four-count criminal charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful dealing in petroleum products and storing them without lawful authority.
In the four-count criminal charge number FHC/L/209c/15, filed before the court by the EFCC Head of Legal Services, Mr. Gbolahan Latona, three Russians: Arthur Pakhladzhian, Vasaliy Shkundich, Kretov Andrey; one Japanese: Sergio Abgarian; three Ukrainians: Vitalis Biluos, Laguta Olesksiy, Chepikov Oleksan; seven Britons: Hilarion Teofilo Regipor Jr, Cadavis Gerardo, Baduria Benjamin, Naranjo Allian Antero Jr, Patro Christian, Alcayde Joel, Carantiquit Michael Bryan; and three vessels namely MT Anukt Emerald, Monjasa DMCC, and Glencore Energy UK Limited, on February 27, 2015, conspired with one and another to commit an offence to wit dealing in petroleum products without lawful authority or appropriate licence.
The accused were also alleged to have at the same time place without lawful authority or appropriate licence stored 1,500 metric tonnes of Automated Gas Oil in MT Anuket Emerald’s cargo tank marked 3S and 3P while they also stored 3,035 metric tonnes of Low Pour Fuel Oil, LPFO, in tanks marked 2P,2S,SP,4S,P and S.
The offences, according to EFCC, are punishable under sections 4, 17, 19 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act and the Petroleum Act, Laws of Federation.
All the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Consequently, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to remand them in prison custody pending trial.
But their lawyer, Mr. Babajide Koku, in an oral application, urged the court to admit the accused on self recognition. The application was opposed by Oyedepo on the ground that the accused are not Nigerians and urged the court to impose stringent bail conditions on them.
The trial judge, Ibrahim Buba, admitted each of the accused to bail in the sum of N50million with one surety in like sum.
In the event that the sureties are not forthcoming, the accused promised to provide bank guarantee of N750million
In his ruling, justice Buba acceded to the accused request and ordered them to deposit their international passports with the EFCC and remanded in prison custody until their bail conditions are met. He adjourned the case till June 17, 18 and 19 for trial.

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