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 May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

BMT, Endeavour Energy Win Africa’s LNG Import Terminal Contract

BMT Asia Pacific (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group Ltd, has been appointed Owners Engineer and lead design consultant by Endeavour Energy for the development

Coast Guard Foundation Hosts Annual Tribute

The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

WTO Launches Dedicated Website for new TFA Facility

The TFAF was created at the request of developing country and least-developed country (LDC) members to help ensure that they receive the assistance needed to

Marine Propulsion

Shell Offers Smooth Transition to ECAs

Shipowners switching to low sulphur content fuels in line with their obligations in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) have demanded confidence in the cylinder oils

Construction Starts on Crowley’s 2nd LNG ConRo Ship

Construction begins on Crowley’s second Commitment Class, LNG-powered ConRo ship for use in the Puerto Rico trade   Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. has officially

Mercury Marine Begins HQ Expansion

Mercury Marine announces 45,000 square foot EDP parts expansion to Fond du Lac global headquarters   Mercury Marine will add a 45,000 square foot expansion to

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1307 sec (8 req/sec)