Nigeria Wants $500,000 Bail for Russian Ship

Nigeria is dragging its feet on the turnover of 15 Russian sailors accused of arms smuggling and demanding a $500,000 bond for their ship, Moscow's ambassador to Lagos told RIA-Novosti.

"The court order freeing them on bail is not being carried out, because new bureaucratic hurdles are being erected. The sailors remain in their jail cells," Alexander Polyakov said on Tuesday.

Furthermore, the Nigerian government is demanding a $500,000 bond in return for the ship, the Myre Seadiver, which is currently under arrest, Polyakov said.

Nigerian law enforcement seized the Myre Seadiver in October and arrested the crew after discovering firearms and 8,500 rounds of ammunition onboard.

The crew was charged with arms smuggling and illegally entering the country. On Monday, a Lagos court granted a request to turn the sailors over to the Russian Embassy on bail.

Under the terms of their bail, the sailors are required to stay on the territory of the Russian Embassy and are not permitted to leave Nigeria until the legal process is over.

The next hearing is scheduled for April 8.

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