Greek shipping companies Oceanic Illsabe Limited and Oceanfleet Shipping Limited, and two of their employees, were convicted of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), obstruction of justice, false statements, witness tampering and conspiracy, according to the US Department of Justice.
Oceanic Illsabe Limited is the owner of the M/V Ocean Hope, a large cargo vessel that was responsible for dumping tons of oily waste into the Pacific Ocean last
year. Oceanfleet Shipping Limited was the managing operator of the vessel.
Both companies operate out of Greece
. Also convicted at trial were two senior engineering officers who worked aboard the vessel, Rustico Ignacio and Cassius Samson. The jury convicted on each of the nine counts in the indictment.
The operation of marine vessels, like the M/V Ocean Hope, generates large quantities of oil sludge and oil-contaminated waste water. International and U.S. law require that these vessels use pollution prevention equipment, known as an oil-water separator, to preclude the discharge of these materials.
Should any overboard discharges occur, they must be documented in an oil record book, a log that is regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The evidence presented to the jury showed that in June 2015, the vessel discharged around ten metric tons of sludge into the ocean. The vessel was also regularly pumping contaminated water directly overboard. None of these discharges were disclosed as required.
“Our office was pleased to partner with the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in this significant case,” said U.S. Attorney Bruce. “We will continue to vigorously enforce federal laws designed to prevent the pollution of the world’s oceans.”