Hapag-Lloyd: U.S. Probe Ends with no Obligations
Germany's Hapag-Lloyd is cleared of a U.S. Department of Justice probe into the practices of container shipping companies, with no charges brought, a spokesman said on Tuesday."Hapag-Lloyd was informed that the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division is closing its investigation without charges against the company, its affiliates or any other current or former employees," he said.This followed similar statements by bigger rivals Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company…
Maersk: Firm Cleared in U.S. Shipping Investigation
A.P. Moller Maersk said on Tuesday a U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation into the practices of container shipping companies had closed and the group was released from any obligations.In 2017, the DoJ ordered top executives from several container shipping lines including Maersk to testify in an antitrust investigation over practices by an industry that is the backbone of world trade."We are pleased to confirm that the United States Department of Justice has closed its…
Coast Guard Interdicts 25 Migrants Off Puerto Rico
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Napier (WPC-1115) repatriated 22 of 25 Dominican migrants to a Dominican Republic Navy vessel Monday, following the interdiction of a makeshift boat Saturday, approximately 20 nautical miles northwest of Mona Island, Puerto Rico.Three of the interdicted migrants are facing possible federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico for illegally attempting to reenter the United States.The Coast Guard, and federal and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico law enforcement partners have interdicted more than 400 migrants and stopped several narcotics smuggling attempts since October of 2018."The migrants were attempting to make the transit across an ocean passage in a vessel that was inherently unsafe due to overloading…
Coast Guard, Partner Agencies Interdict Dozens in Last 72-hours
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.
Coast Guard, Partners Stop Multiple Smuggling Events off Puerto Rico
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…
U.S. DOJ Announces Environmental Crimes Conviction
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.
Maritime Accidents & Confidential near-miss Reporting
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…
Seized Superyacht Linked to 1MDB Probe Arrives in Malaysia
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.
Inchcape to Pay $20 Mln for Allegedly Overbilling US Navy
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…
US Fines Shipping Company $1 Mln for Pollution Crimes
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…
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…
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.
USCG offloads 36,000 lbs cocaine in San Diego
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…
Luxury Yacht Seized in Money Laundering Probe
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.
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…
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).
Keppel O&M to Pay US$422m to Resolve Petrobras Issue
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.
SBM Offshore: The Cost of Corruption Rises
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.
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…
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.
DoJ Closes Vantage Probe Over Petrobras Deal
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.
HII to Pay $9.2 Mln in False Billing Settlement
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.
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.