Nigerian Court Jails Iranian 17 Years for Arms SmugglingEmele Onu
A Nigerian court sentenced Iranian Azim Aghajani to 17 years imprisonment for illegally importing arms into the West African country.
Judge Okechukwu Okeke of the Federal High Court in the commercial capital, Lagos, found Aghajani and a Nigerian collaborator Ali Abbas Jega guilty of four out five counts of smuggling, forgery and concealment. The jail terms will run together, with both men expected to serve five years, the maximum sentence on each of the counts, according to the judge.
The vessel used in the shipment and the weapons will be confiscated by the Nigerian government, Okeke ruled.
Nigerian security forces intercepted the shipment of rockets, grenades and mortars from Iran that were concealed in transport containers in October 2011. French shipping company CMA CGM SA said an Iranian company used one of its vessels to illegally transport the arms to Lagos after labeling them as “packages of glass wool and pallets of stone.”