20200714 dubai court
Dubai Court Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Nine sailors have been sentenced to six months in jail and Dh100,000 in combined fines over refuelling ships at sea off the Dubai shores. The Dubai Court of First Instance ordered the defendants be deported after serving their jail term.

In July this year, two Iranian captains and six sailors (three Iranians and three Indians) were illegally transferring diesel to a ship in the middle of the sea. According to official records, the Coast Guard patrol received a call from the command room to conduct a check in this connection in the area.

An Emirati soldier testified they received the coordinates and two boats went to the area at 1.36pm. “We saw a boat refuelling a ship through pipes. The boat withdrew the pipes and tried to escape but we stopped them and asked the sailors for their IDs. They claimed they didn’t have any documents,” the Emirati soldier said, according to official records.

The officers went to the ship to check the sailors’ papers when the boat moved to the north. “They swerved and hit our boat from the left side and escaped towards the north. We chased them but they didn’t stop,” the solider added.

After two warning shots in the air, the boat stopped and the sailors with their captain were arrested and brought to Dubai.

According to Dubai Public Prosecution, the 21-year-old Indian sailor on the ship admitted they bought the fuel from the boat as per instructions of the 34-year-old Iranian captain.