Case of 16 Indian Sailors, Others: Detainees for Oil Theft Yet to be Heard in Court

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By our Reporter

An Indian crew of 16 sailors are part of a 26-member crew who were onboard a cargo ship called MT Heroic Idun. The rest of the sailors are from Sri Lanka, Philippines and Poland.

The case of these 16 Indian sailors who have been under arrest in Nigeria since November, when their ship was taken into custody by authorities will be heard in court on January 10 and 11.

Instructively, the men are part of a 26-member crew who were onboard a cargo ship called MT Heroic Idun. The rest of the sailors are from Sri Lanka, Philippines and Poland.

And the ship which is owned by Norway’s OSM Maritime Group – was initially detained by Equatorial Guinea in mid-August based on an alert from Nigeria that the crew may have stolen crude oil from its terminal, it is reported.

Precisely, their case will be heard by a Nigerian court on 10 and 11 January.

From the available charge sheet filed on November 14 by the Nigerian side in the court, three charges have been levelled against the crew members which comprise conspiracy, evasion of lawful interception, and unlawful export of crude oil.

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Hence a statement says, “We are providing them legal support, we are giving them consular support, and we will do whatever we can to help them in the circumstances.”

Also, the two other oil vessels, MT VIVIT ARABIA and MT TRINITY ARROW, had recently attempted to load Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at the Bonny Terminal without authorisation but were intercepted by the Nigerian Navy.

Undoubtedly, the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), is capable of carrying two million barrels of crude oil, and has a length of 336 metres, a width of 60 metres, a draught of 11 metres and 299995 metric tonnes and IMO Number: its agent in Nigeria, and OSM Ship Management as the vessel manager.

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