Nigeria accuses Monjasa of illegal bunker trade

14 foreign seafarers are charged by Nigerian police of engaging in illegal trading of bunker oil. The case involves Danish bunker company Monjasa, which denies the alleged illegal activities when asked by ShippingWatch, as well as UK-based Glencore Energy.

Nigerian authorities accuse Danish bunker company Monjasa along with a total 14 seafarers of engaging in illegal bunker oil trading due to missing or insufficient permits, according to a an indictment published Wednesday alongside the arraignment of the suspects in front of a judge in Lagos, Nigeria.

In a comment to ShippingWatch, Monjasa Holding CEO Anders Østergaard denies that the Nigerian authorities have anything on which to base their case.

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest developments in International shipping? Subscribe to our newsletter – the first 40 days are free

According to the indictment, the 14 named foreign seafarers, from Ukraine, Russia and the Philippines, stand charged on four counts bordering on conspiracy and illegal trading of bunker products.

The indictment also names three companies, tanker vessel MT Anuket Emerald, Monjasa DMCC and Glencore Energy UK Limited, for being involved in the case, according to the charges laid out in the indictment published by the Nigerian authority EFCC, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as reported by tv-station Channels Television.

All 14 accused seafarers plead not guilty to the charges. The preliminary court hearings are scheduled for June 17-19.

"The important thing for me is to stress that there is nothing to this. Our ship was boarded by the Nigerian navy as they wanted to see whether we were carrying Nigerian crude oil on board. All cargo is tested and the results confirm that the oil is, firs of all, not crude, but fuel and diesel oil (bunkers), and that the oil is not Nigerian," says Anders Østergaard (photo).

Leased by Monjasa

The ship MT Anuket Emerald was boarded by the Nigerian navy on a routine patrol in Nigerian waters on March 8th this year, suspected of illegal oil trading. The tanker vessel was subsequently handed over to authorities.

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest developments in International shipping? Subscribe to our newsletter – the first 40 days are free

The authorities' investigation showed that the registered owner of the ship is company Combe Shipping Limited, with Alliance Tankers Incorporated serving as co-owner. It later turned out that the Panama-flagged tanker vessel with IMO registration number 9393644 was leased by Monjasa DMCC in Dubai, according to the indictment.

And tanker MT Anuket Emerald does feature on Monjasa's fleet list.

Ship arrested in Angola

Earlier this year, in January, another Monjasa tanker vessel was arrested for months by authorities in Angola.

The Angolan authorities arrested vessel M/T San Padre Pio (photo) on January 21st for having transferred fuel to another ship 40 nautical miles off of Angola's coast. Bunker deliveries are, according to Angolan authorities, not allowed within the 200 nautical mile limit off the Angolan coast, and according to Anders Østergaard, Monjasa had to pay USD 40,000 for the release of the ship.

Ship in international waters

"Unfortunately the authorities (in Nigeria) are now trying to charge us with operating in Nigerian territory without permission, even though the ship was beyond the 12 nautical mile radius, thus located in international waters (EEZ). But this case, along with the recent one in Angola, unfortunately illustrates clearly that several sovereign states are trying to claim rights to the EEZ zone," explains Anders Østergaard, adding that ships, crew and cargo are of course insured:

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest developments in International shipping? Subscribe to our newsletter – the first 40 days are free

"Right now this is just a matter of getting our ship and crew out sailing safely again. And of course I should mention that both shipowner and forwarder, as well as our respective P&I clubs, are on the same side in this event."

Monjasa is the biggest bunker supplier off the coast of West Africa, with a total 17 vessels operating in the region.

Monjasa ship released by authorities in Angola

Monjasa tanker detained in West Africa

Monjasa moves its biggest business to Dubai

Monjasa-owners withdraw from daily management

Frontpage right now

Maersk will now be printing spare parts on board its vessels

Maersk and J. Lauritzen are now looking to really crack the 3D market, and with a new project including several prominent players, carriers are starting to print spare parts on board vessels and rigs. The technology is ready for the maritime sector, the partners say.

Simpson Spence Young acquires Bidsted & Co

Simpson Spence Young has acquired Danish dry bulk broker Bidsted & Co. "The world requires more and more these days, and we had to acknowledge that we were unable to match demand on our own," Bidsted's managing director Carsten Munk Jensen tells ShippingWatch.

Swedish shipowners want 400 ships flagged in Sweden by 2027

The much-anticipated tonnage tax scheme could mean that 400 ships join the Swedish flag over the next decade, shows a study performed by the Swedish Shipowners' Association. "We hope that over the coming years these predictions will turn out to be correct," Vice President Pia Berglund tells ShippingWatch.

This week's top stories on ShippingWatch

Navigare Capital Partners, owned by parts of the Mærsk family, is ready to buy more vessels, Simpson Spence Young acquired Danish broker Bidsted & Co., and Norden CEO Jan Rindbo offered insights into his management strategy this past week on ShippingWatch.

Latest Suppliers

Related articles

Latest news


See all

See all