Seventeen Indians have been arrested and four arraigned before a Nigerian court for allegedly trying to illegally export four container loads of scrap metals from the African country.
They were attempting to export four container loads of scrap metals illegally through Africa's largest container terminal at Apapa Quay in Lagos a fortnight ago, Victor Dimka, Customs Area Controller for southern Nigeria's Lagos state, said.
Those arraigned at the federal high court in Lagos on Friday were Vikas Das, Naresh Gupta, Dharmin Bhatt and Nilesh Modi.
Das is the managing director of Everest Metal Nigeria Limited, the company which purportedly owns the consignments while others are directors of the firm. They were granted bail on the condition that each of the accused must provide $19,000 bond and a surety each in the sum of $19,000.
The four containers of scrap metals are valued by the customs at about $465,000.
A customs official said the containers were soaked in mud to disguise scraps as ordinary dirt.
The case was adjourned to September 12 and 13.
Indian companies are the highest employers of labourers in Nigeria's private sector and regarded to be the second largest employers after the country's federal government.
More than 20,000 PIOs live in Lagos alone with many having the country's citizenship.