Currently the Unified Register of Judgments of Ukraine contains the full text of the court prescript on September 10, 2020 regarding the Crimean ship, tanker “NIKA SPIRIT”. According to this final and non-appellate decision of the investigating judge of the Shevchenkivsky District Court of Kyiv, in criminal proceedings 42018160690000284, initiated in 2018, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was allowed to transfer specified vessel to the Assets Recovery and Management Agency of Ukraine (ARMA).
This court decision applies to some important events, happened on the peninsula. This criminal proceeding was initiated by the Military Prosecutor’s Office of the Southern Region of Ukraine on the fact of Russian occupation forces’ illegal actions on the blockade in November 2018 the transport communication – the Maritime Shipping Kerch-Yenikale Canal in the Kerch Strait of the Sea of Azov and on the fact of next Russian attack on the Ukrainian Navy military boats.
As a result of that illegal blockade of the Canal, the military boats’ group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Navy, consisting of small artillery boats “Berdyansk”, “Nikopol”, and of tug “Yani Kapu”, which was going from Odessa to Mariupol, could not pass through the Kerch Strait, returned back and was captured by the Russians in the waters of the Black Sea.
Initially, the pre-trial investigation in this case was entrusted to the investigators of the SBU Office in Odessa Region, and in March 2020 the case was transferred to the Main Investigation Department of the SBU.
Regarding to the available court decisions, the investigation has already established that on November 25, 2018, the tanker “Neyma” with the help of tugs “Fast”, “Handwick” and “Eltigen” blocked the transport communication – the Maritime Shipping Kerch-Yenikale Canal in the Kerch Strait by arrangement the artificial obstacles. As the result of this blockade, among other things, material losses in the amount of more than 260 million of Ukrainian hryvnas were caused.
This tanker “Neyma” was placed for a long time in the Kerch Shipyard and together with abovementioned tugs was actually operated by LLC “YUVAS TRANS”, registered in the Crimea in the city of Kerch, st. Kirova, house 22, building 1, office 1. These vessels were used by the Russian authorities to block the Kerch Strait with the consent of the Narodytsky family, as the actual owner of the group of companies LLC “YUVAS TRANS”. Our site wrote in a journalistic investigation “Bandits are the Servants of the Bandits” regarding this company.
During the mentioned criminal investigation, the Ukrainian authorities established that the tanker “Nika Spirit”, IMO number 8895528, MMSI 273347000, Russian-flagged, owned by the LLC “Altomar Shipping”, registered in the Krasnodar Region (Russia), Gelenzhik city, st. Telmana, house 47A, is the same tanker “Neyma”.
Therefore, despite the disguise measures taken, on July 29, 2019, executing the decision of the investigating judge of the Primorsky District Court of Odessa, this tanker “Neyma” was detained by the Ukrainian authorities on the Danube river as the instrument of crime, exactly of the blockade of the Kerch-Yenikale Canal in 2018. Two-year lawyers’ attempts to lift the arrested tanker were unsuccessful.
Currently, the Crimean tanker “Neyma” (“Nika Spirit”) will be sold by the Ukrainian authorities through the ARMA mechanisms as the arrested instrument of crime.