Maritime News

US fines shipowner $1 million for pollution crimes 

11 May 2018

A US court has fined a Japanese shipping company USD1million for obstruction of justice and falsification of an oil record book to cover-up intentional pollution. The court in Wilmington, North Carolina convicted Nitta Kisen Kaisha Ltd for the deliberate discharge of oily waste from its vessel Atlantic Oasis, using special pipes that had been concealed during a coastguard inspection.
The cover-up was discovered following a tip-off from a crew member to the US coastguard during an inspection of the vessel in May 2017. When questioned, the chief engineer, who was accused of ordering the discharges, initially lied to the inspectors before admitting his role.
As well as the fine, the shipowner was placed on probation for three years and ordered to implement a court-approved comprehensive environmental compliance plan. The chief engineer was fined USD5,500 and placed on probation for one year.
The commander of the North Carolina coastguard said: “We hope the outcome of this case deters future criminal acts that pollute the marine environment.”

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