Venezuela charges captain of seized ship; releases him on bail

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[El Universal] – The Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday (October 15) charged Ukrainian captain Igor Bekirov for allegedly violating Venezuela’s exclusive economic zone onboard the oil exploration US ship Teknik Perdana, which was intercepted by Venezuelan authorities on October 10 in Guyana.

In a preliminary hearing, the designated prosecutor, Andrés Bravo, charged Bekirov for allegedly failing to meet the special regime of security zones as specified in the organic laws on Water Areas and National Security, the Attorney General’s office said in a press release.

The fourth crime control court in Nueva Esparta state, northeast Venezuela, released Bekirov pending trial and banned him from conducting oil exploration and research activities in the Venezuelan territory.

Further, Bekirov will have to appear in court for pending proceedings and will be summoned through the Guyanese Embassy to Caracas.

Venezuela’s navy on October 10 seized the RV Teknik Perdana survey boat, which was being used by Texas-based Anadarko. Venezuela said the ship had violated its waters. However, Guyanese authorities said the boat was well within its territory. The boat was taken to the Venezuelan island of Margarita. The ship and its crew has since been released by the Venezuelan authorities.

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