Department Of Justice News

15 Jan 2019

Coast Guard, Partner Agencies Interdict Dozens in Last 72-hours

image credit: USCG

The Coast Guard interdicted 66 migrants in the last 72-hours in five separate events near Puerto Rico.The Coast Guard, and federal and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico law enforcement partners have interdicted more than 380 migrants and stopped several narcotics smuggling attempts since October of 2018.“These recent migrant and drug interdiction cases, though smaller than what we see at our land borders, are a reminder of the constant threat toward the American citizens of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” said Rear Adm. Peter Brown, Coast Guard 7th District commander.

11 Jan 2019

Coast Guard, Partners Stop Multiple Smuggling Events off Puerto Rico

Courtesy Photo: U.S. Coast Guard District 7

The Coast Guard interdicted a vessel, Monday, with 35 Dominican migrants and 4 kilograms of heroin approximately 34 miles west of Desecheo, Puerto Rico.The crew of a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry, deployed to Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, detected the vessel Monday evening. Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector San Juan diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Heriberto Hernandez (WPC-1114), who arrived on scene, embarked the 35 migrants and discovered a backpack…

05 Nov 2018

U.S. DOJ Announces Environmental Crimes Conviction

File Image / Adobestock © renaschild

German Shipping Operator Sentenced to Pay $3.2 Million for Obstruction of Justice and Falsifying Official Logs to Hide Deliberate Oil Pollution. The previously Convicted Company Committed Environmental Crimes While on Probation.A German shipping company, MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH (MST), pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in Portland, Maine, for obstruction of justice and for maintaining false official records to conceal deliberate pollution from one of its ships, the M/V Marguerita, announced Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey B.

13 Sep 2018

Maritime Accidents & Confidential near-miss Reporting

© MrSegui/Adobe Stock

As in most if not all industries, the maritime sector experiences many more near-misses than actual casualties. And yet, information regarding near-misses is seldom shared outside the particular company or vessel/facility involved. This is a needless waste of valuable learning opportunities.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the first formal confidential near-miss reporting system in the federal government in 1975. The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) was transferred in 1976 to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for collection of information…

08 Aug 2018

Seized Superyacht Linked to 1MDB Probe Arrives in Malaysia

© AK YAM / MarineTraffic.com

A $250 million superyacht, impounded as part of a hunt for assets linked to the multi-billion dollar investigation into 1Malaysia Development Bhd, arrived at a port in Malaysia on Tuesday about six months after it was seized.The Cayman Islands-flagged Equanimity was first seized in the Indonesian holiday venue of Bali in February at the request of U.S. authorities investigating 1MDB.The Malaysian state fund is at the center of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.

30 May 2018

Inchcape to Pay $20 Mln for Allegedly Overbilling US Navy

(U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Barker)

U.K. based marine services contractor Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited and several of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay $20 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the U.S. Navy under contracts for ship husbanding services, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.Inchcape provided goods and services, including food and other subsistence items, waste removal, telephone services, ship-to-shore transportation, force protection services and local transportation…

11 May 2018

US Fines Shipping Company $1 Mln for Pollution Crimes

© Roy Ledford / MarineTraffic.com

A Japanese shipping company will have to pay $1 million after being convicted and sentenced for obstruction of justice and falsification of an Oil Record Book to cover-up intentional pollution from bulk carrier M/V Atlantic Oasis.The company Nitta Kisen Kaisha Ltd., owner and operater of the Atlantic Oasis, admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal discharge of oily wastes from the vessel’s fuel and lubrication oil purifier systems, as well as discharges of oily bilge waste from the bilge holding tank and from the vessel’s bilges when delivering steel products to Wilmington…

08 May 2018

Fishing Companies to Pay $400,000 for Pollution Claims

Challenge Fisheries LLC, Quinn Fisheries Inc., Charles Quinn II, and Charles Quinn III have agreed to pay a total of $414,000 in civil penalties and to perform fleet-wide improvements and other compliance assurance measures to resolve federal Clean Water Act claims stemming from oily bilge discharges from the commercial fishing vessel Challenge, and a related fuel oil discharge in August 2017 in New Bedford Harbor, Mass., the Department of Justice and the Coast Guard announced.In its complaint filed Monday, along with the lodging of a consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the United States alleges…

20 Apr 2018

GE Profit Tops Estimates

General Electric Co posted quarterly results that topped expectations on Friday, as earnings from aviation, healthcare and transportation offset weak power and oil-and-gas profits, sending shares sharply higher. GE affirmed its forecast for 2018 earnings and cash flow, and said it expects to book as much as $10 billion in proceeds from divesting industrial assets this year. Those comments eased concern that GE would post poor results. GE's profit reflected 7-percent revenue growth and vigorous cost cutting. Revenue rose in aviation, oil-and-gas and healthcare, offsetting declines in power, transportation, lighting and renewable energy. GE sliced $1 billion in costs, including $800 million in industrial structural costs.

21 Mar 2018

USCG offloads 36,000 lbs cocaine in San Diego

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf offloads more than 36,000 pounds of suspected contraband at B Street Pier, San Diego, March 20, 2018.  Photo USCG

The Coast Guard offloaded approximately 36,000 pounds of cocaine Tuesday, which was seized during a counter-drug patrol in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The contraband offloaded by the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf's (WMSL-750) crew represents 17 interdictions of suspected smuggling vessels off the coasts of Central and South America by five Coast Guard cutters between early February and early March. “This offload by the Bertholf represents the great work being conducted in the Eastern Pacific combating the transnational organized crime groups…

02 Mar 2018

Luxury Yacht Seized in Money Laundering Probe

Equanimity (File photo: Oceanco)

Indonesian police on Thursday questioned the captain and crew of a luxury yacht in Bali at the request of U.S. authorities, probing alleged money laundering at a Malaysian state fund, they said. The yacht was impounded in Bali on Wednesday amid a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation launched by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and tied to Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Police seized the yacht, Equanimity, after receiving a letter on Feb. 21 from the U.S.

27 Feb 2018

Tanker Operator, Master Sentenced for Pollution

A tanker vessel operator and master were convicted this week for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oil and garbage from an oil tanker that was operating off the coast of Texas. On Monday, operator Sea World Management & Trading Inc. and the master of tanker Sea Faith, Edmon Fajardo, pleaded guilty to two felony violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for failing to accurately maintain the Sea Faith’s Oil Record Book and Garbage Record Book, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood. Both admitted that oil cargo residues and machinery…

19 Feb 2018

Maritime & Strict Liability Criminal Statutes

There are a number of federal and state statutes that intentionally and justifiably impose strict criminal liability. Persons who manufacture hazardous explosives and those who keep dangerous animals create serious risks to public safety. Clearly placing the burden of potential criminal liability, even in the absence of criminal negligence or intent, on those persons and entities is appropriate. There are other statutes, though, that fail to disclose whether the authors intended for the criminal penalties included for noncompliance to be strictly applied or whether criminal liability requires proof of criminal negligence or specific intent. Two such statutes of interest to the maritime community are the Refuse Act of 1899 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

24 Dec 2017

Keppel O&M to Pay US$422m to Resolve Petrobras Issue

Keppel FELS Brasil. Photo: Keppel Offshore & Marine

Keppel Corporation Limited (Keppel Corporation or Keppel) today confirmed that KOM has reached a global resolution with criminal authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore in relation to corrupt payments made by KOM's former agent in Brazil,  Zwi Skornicki. As part of the global resolution, KOM has accepted a conditional warning from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in Singapore, and entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the U.S.

08 Nov 2017

SBM Offshore: The Cost of Corruption Rises

Image: © niroworld / AdobeStock

Marine engineering group SBM Offshore said a Brazilian investigation into its role in corruption cases had not been resolved and set aside an additional $238 million provision on Monday to cover costs from an unexpected U.S. inquiry. The Dutch company has also been forced to suspend its involvement in tenders with Brazilian oil company Petrobras , a major customer. Shares fell 10 percent to 13.96 euros at 0930 GMT, wiping out gains made this year when investors believed the builder of floating oil and gas platforms had settled the issue.

18 Sep 2017

Ocean Guardian: Simplifying Environmental Compliance

Environmental compliance challenges are nothing new to the cruise industry. Initiatives to enhance environmental compliance, from clean technologies to improved processes and procedures, have significantly reduced the impact cruise vessels have on the environment and improved the quality of discharge. These onboard initiatives address what is in the vessel’s control, but cannot simplify the increasingly complex regulatory environment in which cruise lines operate. Enforcement of environmental regulations is on the rise as international…

01 Sep 2017

Fishing Vessel Owner Convicted for Pollution

A fishing vessel company that operated in and around American Samoa was convicted and sentenced for maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of oil and garbage, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Environment and Natural Resources Division and United States Attorney Channing D. Phillips. The company, Yuh Fa Fishery (Vanuatu) Co. Ltd., owned the F/V Yuh Fa No. 201, the vessel that was responsible for the pollution. Yuh Fa Fishery (Vanuatu) Co. Ltd., admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal dumping of oily bilge water into the waters of the South Pacific Ocean without the use of required pollution prevention equipment. The Chief Engineer onboard the F/V Yuh Fa No.

16 Aug 2017

DoJ Closes Vantage Probe Over Petrobras Deal

Photo: Vantage Drilling International

Vantage Drilling International, announced  that it has received a letter from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) acknowledging Vantage's full cooperation in the DOJ's investigation concerning possible violations by Vantage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and indicating that the DOJ has closed its investigation without any action. The investigation arose in 2015 from allegations of improper payments to former officials of Petróleo Brasileiro S.A (Petrobras) in connection with the contracting of the Titanium Explorer drillship to Petrobras.

16 Aug 2017

HII to Pay $9.2 Mln in False Billing Settlement

File photo: Chris Oxley / HII

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (HII) has agreed to a $9.2 million settlement of allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the government for labor on U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships at its shipyards in Pascagoula, Miss. Under the settlement, HII will make a payment of $7.9 million which, combined with earlier repayments, will result in the settlement recovery of approximately $9.2 million. “Contractors that knowingly bill the government in violation of contract terms will face serious consequences,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A.

22 Jun 2017

Shipping Firms Pay $1.9 Mln for Pollution Cover-up

Two shipping companies based in Egypt and Singapore will pay $1.9 million in penalties after pleading guilty in federal court to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice for covering up the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water and garbage into the sea. Defendants Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management are the owner and operator of the offending vessel, the 57,920 gross ton, 809-foot long, oceangoing, oil tank ship called the M/T ETC Mena. The plea agreement was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston for the Eastern District of Texas.

28 Apr 2017

Maersk to Pay $4 Bln for Hamburg Sud

File photo: Hamburg Sud

The world's biggest container shipping company Maersk Line will pay 3.7 billion euros ($4.02 billion) for its acquisition of smaller German rival Hamburg Sud, it said on Friday. Combined, the two companies will be able to realise annual operational savings of about $350 million to $400 million, Maersk Line said in a statement fleshing out detail on the deal announced in December. "By keeping Hamburg Sud as a separate and well-run company, we will limit the transaction and integration risks and costs while still extracting the operational synergies…

20 Apr 2017

Princess Cruises Fined $40 Mln for Pollution

Caribbean Princess (Photo: Princess Cruise Lines Ltd.)

Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. was sentenced to pay a $40 million penalty – the largest-ever for crimes involving deliberate vessel pollution – related to illegal dumping overboard of oil contaminated waste and falsification of official logs in order to conceal the discharges. The sentence was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida in Miami. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Patricia A.

22 Mar 2017

Container Shippers Ordered to Testify in US Investigation

File photo: Hapag-Lloyd

The U.S. Justice Department has ordered top executives from several container shipping lines to testify in an antitrust investigation into an industry that is the backbone of global trade, the companies said on Wednesday. The world's biggest container shipper, Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, Germany's Hapag Lloyd, Taiwan-based Evergreen, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) said their executives were among those who had been subpoenaed. The United States is concerned that the proposed alliances of several major companies…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2018 - Great Ships of 2018

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