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Sri Lanka asks Nigeria for release of 7 crew in arrested oil tanker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has asked for the release of seven crew member of tanker MT Zeebrugge, which has been arrested by the Nigerian Navy for alleged crude smuggling while transporting 838 metric tonnes of oil.

The seven Sri Lankan crew had been detained at Beecroft Naval Base in Lagos State of Nigeria, the foreign ministry said.

The Navy had referred the case tothe Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria for investigation and prosecution .

“The Sri Lankan crew members informed the High Commission that they were not aware that the petroleum products they were transporting was illegal,” Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said.

“The High Commission officials visited the Sri Lankan crew members on 20 February 2020 at t

“The High Commission also appealed to the Nigerian authorities for the early release and repatriation of the Sri Lankan crew members.

“EFCC officials informed that the case is being reviewed by the legal section of the EFCC and the crew members would be released if they are found to be innocent.”

The vessel owners had not arranged legal representation for the crew, the statement said. (Colombo/Feb24/2020)