Rio Gold - Ilegal Dumping Sentence

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced that Casilda Shipping, Ltd., the Maltese company that owned the Rio Gold (a 23,000 ton ocean-going cargo ship registered in Malta); Genesis Seatrading Corporation, the Greek operating company; and Mr. Pantelis Thomas, the vessel’s Chief Engineer and a citizen of Greece, all pleaded guilty and were sentenced last week for conspiring to falsify waste oil disposal records related to the intentional disposal of waste oil into the ocean while in international waters.

Casilda Shipping, Ltd., was sentenced to pay a fine of $750,000 and to serve three years of probation. Genesis Seatrading Corporation was sentenced to serve three years of probation and to comply with an extensive three-year Environmental Compliance Plan. Mr. Thomas was sentenced to serve three years of probation and pay a $5,000 fine.

In pleading guilty, defendants admitted to their use of equipment—known in the trade as a “magic pipe”—to bypass the anti-pollution equipment on the ship. Defendants ordered the crew to illegally use the “magic pipe” to discharge waste oil directly into the ocean. Defendants concealed their illegal overboard discharges by making false entries and omissions into the ship’s on-board records. Vessels, like the Rio Gold, are legally obligated to maintain these records to verify their compliance with applicable maritime environmental laws and regulations.

The violations came to the attention of the U.S. Coast Guard after the Rio Gold docked in Oakland on May 26, 2008, when four crew members reported the illegal activities. A subsequent inspection of the Rio Gold uncovered the “magic pipe” disassembled and stored away, along with evidence of its consistent use.

Defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 9, 2008. The indictment alleged that the illegal dumping of waste oil into the ocean occurred beginning with the period the Rio Gold was first purchased in July 2007 and continued until shortly before the vessel docked in Oakland in May 2008.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, $250,000 of the fine amount will be paid to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for use in projects to restore the Northern California coast, and an additional portion of the fine amount will be paid to the four crew members who initially reported their employer’s misconduct to authorities.

The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken following guilty pleas by all three defendants to one count of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and one count of intentionally failing to maintain an accurate oil record book in violation of 33 U.S.C. § 1908(a).

Stephen G. Corrigan and Wade M. Rhyne are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the case with the assistance of Lieutenant Jeffery A. King and the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific JAG Office. The prosecution is the result of a five-month investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Francisco’s Port State Control Office.

(Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Northern District of California)

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Maritime NZ Oil Spill Response Review: Submissions

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says it invites submissions on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy 2014 (the draft Strategy). The draft Strategy, (available at http://bit.

Thai Resort Owners Sue State Owned Company for Oil Spill

Business owners on Koh Samet island are suing a state-owned petroleum enterprise for the oil spill that polluted the resort island's beaches last year. More than 50,

Nigerian Piracy Threatens UK Interests: New Report

The UK economy is heavily exposed to lawlessness off the coast of Nigeria, a new report published today by the UK Chamber of Shipping says. The report found that almost all of the UK’s annual £6.

Marine Propulsion

MES Gets First Order for ME-GI Marine Engine

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) has received the first order of electronically controlled gas injection diesel engine (ME-GI) for MES. MAN B&W 8S70ME-C8.

Wärtsilä to Divest its Shares in Two-stroke JV

Wärtsilä to divest its shares in QMD two-stroke joint venture Wärtsilä announced that it will divest its shares in the Qingdao Qiyao Wärtsilä MHI Linshan Marine Diesel Co.

Turbocharger Modification

Cost Effective Solution for Fuel Saving and Emission Control A turbocharger’s efficiency significantly influences diesel engine performance. For example, a turbocharger

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1184 sec (8 req/sec)