Posted on October 22, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Greek shipowner Chartworld Shipping and its affiliate, Nederland Shipping, both pled guilty to presenting false documents & concealing evidence to the United States Coast Guard (USCG), according to a statement released by the US Department of Justice.
The two companies pled guilty on October the 15th, as part of a federal court case in Wilmington, Delaware.
Back in February 2019, the USCG Marine Safety Detachment in Lewes, Delaware, conducted an examination of the Containership, NEDERLAND REEFER. They discovered that the ship’s Chief Engineer, Vasileios Mazarakis, had been tampering with the vessel’s oily water separator in order to discharge untreated bilge water overboard.
However, Mr Mazarakis had gone a step beyond, falsifying the vessel’s official oil record book in order to conceal his actions.
Furthermore, the USCG discovered that back in December 2018, the vessel’s bilge holding tank had suffered a leak below the waterline and had taken on seawater – a fact that was never reported to the Coast Guard, marking it as a serious marine safety violation.
Having pled guilty, the two companies agreed to pay a combined sum of $1.8 million and serve a four-year probation term. During the four year probationary term, the company will be following a comprehensive environmental compliance plan and will be answering to a court-appointed monitor and an independent auditor.
For his part in the above, Mr Mazarakis also pled guilty to violating MARPOL, obstructing, witness tampering, and the destruction of evidence.