Department Of Justice News

17 Oct 2019

DOJ: Failure to Report Hazardous Condition

AdobeStock / © Renaschild

Two shipping companies incorporated in Liberia pled guilty today in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, to failing to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of a hazardous condition on one if its vessels and to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) by presenting false documents to the Coast Guard that covered up vessel oil pollution.Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware announced the plea agreement.

09 Oct 2019

Sanctioned Vessel Finally Departs American Samoa

© Sergei Skriabin / MarineTraffic.com

Following a five-month stay in the port of Pago Pago, American Samoa, the 580-foot motor vessel Wise Honest, a 17,061-ton, single-hull bulk carrier ship connected to U.S. sanctions violations departed under tow Monday.This action comes after an investigation by the Department of Justice and the sale of the ship in a Southern District of New York Federal Court-directed auction. The Coast Guard’s role in these proceedings was to ensure the safety and security of the Port of Pago Pago and the vessel.Most recently…

28 Aug 2019

Tanker Owner, Operator & Officers Guilty in ECA Crimes

File Image: AdobeStock / © 14KT Gold

The owner and operator will pay a total criminal fine of $3,000,000.00.U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced that IONIAN SHIPPING & TRADING CORP., LILY SHIPPING LTD., STAMATIOS ALEKIDIS, ATHANASIOS PITTAS and REY ESPULGAR have been convicted and sentenced for various pollution, recordkeeping, and obstruction of justice crimes on the Motor Tanker (“M/T”) Ocean Princess in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. The defendants’ conduct included using fuel that exceeded the maximum allowable sulfur concentration in the U.S. Caribbean Emission Control Area (“U.S.

09 Aug 2019

Fishing Company hit with $500K Fine

This is the Vila Nova do Corvo II moored up in Leonard's Wharf on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The company Vila Nova do Corvo II, Inc., company managers Carlos Rafael and Stephanie Rafael DeMello, and vessel captain Carlos Pereira agreed to pay a total of $511,000 in civil penalties and to perform vessel improvements after the United Station filed complaints alleging to violations of the Clean Water Act, discovered during Coast Guard boarding operations. (U.S. Coast Guard

New Bedford, Massachusetts-based Vila Nova do Corvo II, Inc., company managers Carlos Rafael and Stephanie Rafael DeMello, and vessel captain Carlos Pereira agreed to pay a total of $511,000 in civil penalties and to perform vessel improvements.This was to ensure compliance measures to resolve federal Clean Water Act claims stemming from oily bilge discharges from the commercial fishing vessel Vila Nova do Corvo II, a related discharge of fuel oil filters, and violations of pollution control regulations.The United States filed the complaint in this action in April 2019 in the U.S.

28 Jun 2019

Shipping Executives Indicted in the U.S.

© Chris Titze Imaging/Adobe Stock

An indictment of two Norwegian shipping executives was unsealed in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, the Department of Justice announced.Ingar Skiaker and Øyvind Ervik have been charged with participating in a long-running conspiracy to allocate certain customers and routes, rig bids, and fix prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere, including the Port of Baltimore. A federal grand jury returned the indictment in February 2018.Skiaker and Ervik…

24 Jun 2019

Shipping Company Pleads Guilty to Environmental Laws

© Giorgos Tsampazis/ MarineTraffic.com

Portline Bulk International S.A. pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and one count of Obstruction. The charges stem from the falsification of the Oil Record Book onboard the M/V Achilleus, a Maltese-flagged ocean-going bulk carrier ship managed by Defendant Portline.From April 2017 to August 2018, senior members of the vessel’s engineering team oversaw and participated in the bypass of the ship’s Oil Water Separator utilizing a yellow plastic hose, referred to as a magic pipe.

05 May 2019

Two Greek Shippers Fined for Dumping Oil in Texas Ports

Pic: Avin International LTD

Two Greek shipping companies have been fined $4 million in a U.S. plea deal for not reporting 2017 illegal oil discharges by a tanker at some Texas ports.“Two Greek shipping companies, Avin International LTD and Nicos IV Special Maritime Enterprises, were sentenced today on charges stemming from several discharges of oil into the waters of Texas ports,” the Department of Justice said in a press release.The companies in November pleaded guilty to obstruction of an agency proceeding…

30 Apr 2019

OOIL Sells Long Beach Terminal for $1.8bln

Pic: LBCT

Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas International Ltd. (OOIL) said that it will sell Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) to a consortium led by Australia’s Macquarie Group for $1.78 billion.OOIL, which is majority-owned by Cosco Shipping Holdings, was the terminal operator under a lease agreement with the port. It has entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement to sell 100% of LBCT  to the consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP). LBCT LLC operates the container terminal in the Port of Long Beach…

25 Apr 2019

Nederland Reefer Faces Pollution Charges in US

Image: Chartworld Shipping Corporation

Greece’s Chartworld Shipping Corporation(CSC)'s cargo vessel Nederland Reefer, its manager, owner and the chief engineer have been indicted for falsification of pollution records, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.A federal grand jury in Wilmington, Delaware, returned a six-count indictment charging CSC, Nederland Shipping Corporation, and Chief Engineer Vasileios Mazarakis, according to the U.S Department of Justice.The charges stem from the falsification of records…

26 Feb 2019

Hapag-Lloyd: U.S. Probe Ends with no Obligations

file Image / CREDIT Hapag-Lloyd

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…

26 Feb 2019

Maersk: Firm Cleared in U.S. Shipping Investigation

File Image (CREDIT: Maersk)

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…

05 Feb 2019

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…

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.

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