Amazoil Nigeria Ltd’s owner is taking the commodities trader Glencore Plc to court for alleged failure to pay USD 5 million intended for freeing of Russian sailors detained under suspicion of guns smuggling.
In the lawsuit brought before the London court Og Amazu, owner of Amazoil Nigeria and former fixer for Glencore, claims that Alex Beard, Glencore’s head of oil, failed to pay the fee in return for his assistance in freeing the 15 crew, Bloomberg reports.
The Russian seafarers were arrested in Lagos in 2012 on board the MV Myre Seadiver, which was operated by Moscow-based security firm Moran Security Group and working for the Russian shipping company OAO Sovcomflot at the time.
The crew was arrested by the Nigerian navy under suspicion of smuggling 14 Kalashnikov rifles, 22 Benelli MR1 rifles and 8,000 rounds of ammunition, as they failed to declare the cargo and possession of cache of arms and ammunition aside to having illegally entered into the nation’s waterways.
In April 2013, Amazu was asked by Beard to find out what was going on in Nigeria and to assist in resolving the issue.
Amazu claims that Amazoil is owed USD 10 million by Glencore, comprising USD 5 million for assisting with the detained crew and USD 5 million for introducing Glencore to Nigerian officials.
Glencore on the other hand denied the charges as “baseless” adding that it would “vigorously defend the case against us,” Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore is quoted by Bloomberg as saying in a statement.
World Maritime News Staff