Wednesday, February 20, 2013

15 russians in prison over alleged gun smuggling

A Lagos Federal High Court yesterday ordered that 15 fifteen Russians who are standing trial over unlawful importation of firearms and ammunition into the country be remanded in prison pending the determination of their bail.

Justice Okechukwu Okeke directed that the accused be kept at the Ikoyi prison,Lagos until February 25th when their bail bids would be determined.

The accused are: Zhelyazkov Andrey, Savchenko Sergel, Chichkanov Vasily, Varlygin Igor, Komilov Alexander, Lopatin Alexey and Baranovskly Nikolay.

Others are: Mishin Pavel, Llia Shubov, Dimitry Bannyrh, Alexander Tsarikov, Kononov Sergel, Korotchenko Andrey, Vorobev Mikhail, and Stepan Oleksiuk.

The accused were taken to court on a four-count charge bordering on alleged unlawful importation, and possession of firearms, as well non declaration of the content of their vessel "Mv Myre Seadiver". They pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Mr Ernest Ezebilo, told the court that the accused and their vessel were arrested by Naval officers on Oct. 18, 2012, within the Nigerian territorial waters, in Lagos State.

According to him, the accused and their vessel entered the Nigerian territorial waters without due licence and clearance from the Nigerian Custom Service.

It was gathered that the accused also refused to declare the content of the vessel contrary to the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act, 2002.

Daily Trust further learnt that when the vessel was arrested and opened by Naval officers, a cache of firearms and ammunition was discovered concealed in it.

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