The US Department of Justice
has stated that two foreign shipping companies and three individuals have been indicted for conspiracy to commit environmental crimes and obstructing Coast Guard investigations. A fourth individual pleaded guilty to representing false information to the Coast Guard. The indictment alleges that the companies and individuals engaged in a practice of using a by-pass pipe to avoid the oily water separator (OWS) and making false entries in the oil record book
(ORB). The companies, which owned and operated the ship, each face criminal fines of up to $2.5 million and five years probation. The individuals (the ship’s first engineer, the technical supervisor, and the owner of the company that owns the ship) face varying potential sentences. An indictment is only an allegation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Source: HK Law