Chief Engineer Convicted for 'Magic Pipe' Pollution
After a 9-day trial in federal court in Norfolk, Va., the case against ship operator Kassian Maritime Navigation Agency, Ltd., ship owner Angelex Ltd., and chief engineer Lambros Katsipis concluded with Katsipis found guilty on seven counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, falsification of records, and obstruction of justice violations.
Ship operator Kassian Maritime Navigation Agency, Ltd. and ship owner Angelex Ltd. were acquitted of the charges against them.
The charges stem from illegal overboard discharges of bilge waste from the M/V Antonis G. Pappadakis bypassing pollution prevention equipment. These discharges were not recorded in the oil record book (ORB). A falsified ORB was used onboard between July 2012 and April 2013 and was presented to Coast Guard inspectors during boardings.
The defendants were further alleged to have obstructed justice by instructing crew members not to speak to Coast Guard personnel during the April 2013 boarding.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 16, 2013. The maximum penalty is a fine of $250,000 per count and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The case was the result of a U.S. Coast Guard investigation. The United States was represented in court by Trial Attorney Kenneth Nelson of the Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice.