The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal office on Tuesday August 25, 2020, secured the conviction of BlueMalc Limited for illegally bringing a barge to lift adulterated Automotive Gas Oil in Nigeria without License. The barge, Nora 3, was arrested by men of the Nigerian Navy ‘’NNS Pathfinder ‘’ on 22nd April, 2020 around Agip Waterfront, in Rivers State with unspecified amount of suspected illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil.
The offence runs contrary to Section 22 of Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act No.5 2003 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under Section 40 of the same Act.
The one charge brought against the defendant before Justice I. M. Sani of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt, reads:
“That you BlueMalc limited on or about the 22nd of April, 2020 around Agip Waterfront, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did without due registration and license with appropriate authority, brought into Nigeria Territorial Waters Barge Norah 3, in that process deprived the Federal Government of Nigeria of the revenue and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 of Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act No.5 2003 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under section 40 of the same Act”.
The company pleaded guilty to the charge, prompting the prosecuting counsel, K.W. Chukwuma-Eneh to ask the court to convict and sentence the defendant accordingly.
Justice Sani consequently convicted and sentenced the defendant to one year imprisonment with an option of fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500, 000.00).