Department Of Justice News

03 Dec 2020

Shipowner Fined $12 Mln for US Pollution Violations

© Erimar Macedo / MarineTraffic.com

Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), a Singapore-based company that owns subsidiaries engaged in international shipping, was sentenced today in federal court before U.S. District Court Judge Louise Flanagan in New Bern, N.C., after pleading guilty to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, obstruction of justice, and for a failure to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of a hazardous condition on the cargo vessel Pac Antares.PCL pleaded guilty to a total of eight felony offenses across three judicial districts – the Eastern District of North Carolina…

02 Dec 2020

Dive Boat Captain Charged in Fire that Killed 34

(Photo: VCFD via NTSB)

The captain of a dive boat that caught fire last year near Santa Cruz Island, resulting in 34 deaths, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter.Jerry Nehl Boylan, of Santa Barbara, was named in the indictment by a federal grand jury that alleges Boylan, as the captain and master of the Santa Barbara-based Conception, “was responsible for the safety and security of the vessel, its crew, and its passengers.”The indictment alleges that Boylan caused the deaths of 33 passengers and one crewmember “by his misconduct…

24 Sep 2020

Iranian Fuel Seized by US Remains in Tankers at Sea

© Pak Agen / MarineTraffic.com

Tankers carrying Iranian gasoline that was confiscated by the U.S. government and became embroiled in a court ownership battle have struggled to discharge in the United States, shifting course over the last week.The U.S. Department of Justice last month seized over 1 million barrels of Iranian fuel on board four privately-owned tankers bound for Venezuela, part of Washington's efforts to disrupt trade between the two sanctioned nations.The fuel has been at sea ever since, aboard…

23 Sep 2020

A Killing at Sea Implicates the Armed Forces in Lawless Venezuela

© Capt. Silverio Balbuena / MarineTraffic.com

Around midnight on February 23, Eulalio Bravo, a marine electrician, was dozing in his rack aboard the San Ramon, an oil tanker anchored off the coast of Venezuela.Suddenly, he heard footsteps pounding along the passageway outside. His captain, Jaime Herrera, cried for help."Be still!" an unfamiliar voice ordered.A gun fired.By the time Bravo and eight other shipmates emerged to see what had happened, the captain lay dead, a gunshot in the back of his head. Herrera's stateroom had been pillaged, drawers flung open, his bunk overturned.

09 Sep 2020

Tanker Carrying Gasoline Seized by US Arrives off Texas

© Pak Agen / MarineTraffic.com

A tanker containing a cargo of Iranian gasoline confiscated by the United States arrived on Wednesday at a Texas port where it was preparing to discharge, according to a pilots group spokesperson.The Euroforce arrived off of Freeport, Texas, on Wednesday and had retained Texas Marine Agency, a Houston-based cargo agent, in preparation to offload its fuel, the spokesperson for Brazos Pilots Association said. Texas Marine referred inquiries to the U.S. Department of Justice.The United States government last month said it seized fuel from Iran-linked tankers that was bound for Venezuela…

08 Sep 2020

Iranian Fuel Seized by US to Reach Texas Within Days

Euroforce (© Pak Agen / MarineTraffic.com)

Iranian fuel that the United States seized last month while it was being transported to Venezuela is now being taken to Texas by two tankers due to arrive in coming days, part of Washington’s efforts to disrupt trade between Caracas and Tehran, according to sources and data.The first fuel cargo, on Liberia-flagged tanker Euroforce, was to arrive in Texas in the coming 24 hours, the sources said. It is broadcasting the U.S. Gulf port of Galveston as destination, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.The second cargo on Singapore-flagged tanker Maersk Progress tanker…

21 Aug 2020

US Continues to Crack Down on Maritime Pollution Crimes Despite COVID-19

© Kirk / Adobe Stock

United States Department of Justice’s steadfast protection of U.S. waters equates to criminal charges and massive finesThe United States has a long history of holding companies and individuals accountable for violating environmental laws and regulations, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). With the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), which implements MARPOL, United States government agencies continue to prioritize the protection of oceans and waterways from pollution.

14 Aug 2020

Four Tankers Carrying Iranian Fuel Cargoes to US for Seizure

© Alexander Demin / MarineTraffic.com

Tankers carrying Iranian fuel cargoes covered by a U.S. warrant for seizure are sailing to the United States after talks between U.S. authorities and ship owners, a U.S. government source and a shipping source said on Thursday.Iran had planned to transport the gasoline to Venezuela, a supply line that both Tehran and Caracas have flaunted in defiance of U.S. sanctions. Washington has imposed sanctions on both countries to choke oil exports and deprive their governments of their…

10 Mar 2020

HII Promotes Boudreaux

Chad N. Boudreaux (Photo: HII)

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced Tuesday that Chad N. Boudreaux has been appointed executive vice president and chief legal officer, effective April 1, 2020. Current Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Kellye Walker recently announced her decision to pursue another opportunity, and she will depart HII on March 31.Boudreaux is currently the corporate vice president for litigation and chief compliance and privacy officer for HII. As executive vice president and chief legal officer, Boudreaux will report to HII President and CEO Mike Petters.

18 Feb 2020

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…

11 Feb 2020

BSM Fined $1.75 Mln for Illegal Bilge Dumping

© GIBFRAN46 / MarineTraffic.com

Operator Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Singapore) on Monday pleaded guilty in federal court to maintaining false and incomplete records relating to the discharge of bilge waste from the tanker vessel Topaz Express, a felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.According to court documents and information presented in court, the defendants illegally dumped bilge waste from the Hong Kong-flagged Topaz Express directly into the ocean, without properly processing it through pollution prevention equipment.

07 Jan 2020

IMO 2020: U.S. Restricts the Use of Certain Fuels in Scrubber Vessels

Copyright: diegocardini/AdobeStock

With the January 1 implementation of IMO 2020, which requires dramatic reductions in the sulfur content of emissions from ocean-going vessels, the United States government issued a new rule that it asserts actually facilitates the distribution of compliant fuel.The US Environmental Protection Agency asserts that it is taking steps to allow for the distribution of distillate fuel with sulfur content of up to 5,000 ppm sulfur—something that it asserts was previously prohibited.

18 Dec 2019

DOJ: F/V Owner & Operator Fined $1 mln

AdobeStock / © Renaschild

Fishing Vessel Owner and Operator Plead Guilty and Fined $1 Million for Discharging Oily Waste into the Coastal Waters of the United States Sea Harvest Inc., operator of the fishing vessels Enterprise and Pacific Capes, along with Fishing Vessel Enterprises Inc., the vessels’ owner, pleaded guilty today to violating the Clean Water Act for both knowing and negligent discharges of oily bilge water from the vessels’ engine rooms. The companies were sentenced to pay a $1 million criminal fine and serve a five-year term of probation.

24 Nov 2019

SHI to Pay $75m in Fine: US Justice Dept

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries Co. (SHI) has agreed to pay $75 million in penalties to avoid prosecution in the United States over its scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to Brazilian officials to win a contract.“Samsung Heavy Industries paid millions of dollars to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that some of that money would be used to bribe high-level executives at Petrobras and obtain a lucrative shipbuilding contract,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s resolution is yet one more example of the Department’s continued commitment…

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

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, failure to report discharge of oil and negligent discharge of oil.Avin International was the operator and Nicos I.V. Special Maritime Enterprises was the owner of the Nicos I.V., which is a Greek-flagged vessel.

30 Apr 2019

OOIL Sells Long Beach Terminal for $1.8bln

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, California, United States.The sale is undertaken pursuant to the National Security Agreement entered into by OOIL, Faulkner Global Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of COSCO SHIPPING Holdings Co., Ltd, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S.

25 Apr 2019

Nederland Reefer Faces Pollution Charges in US

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 and other acts designed to cover up from the Coast Guard the overboard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the Bahamian-flagged cargo vessel, M/V Nederland Reefer.According to the indictment, on Feb.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News