The management, owner and the Chief Engineer of the cargo vessel Nederland Reefer have been indicted for falsification of pollution records, obstruction of justice and witness tampering, reports Delaware Business Now.
What are the charges indicted?
A federal grand jury in Wilmington returned a six-count indictment charging Chartworld Shipping Corporation, Nederland Shipping Corporation, and Chief Engineer Vasileios Mazarakis for
- failing to keep accurate pollution control records,
- falsifying records,
- obstruction of justice, and
- witness tampering to destroy evidence of illegal discharge.
Finally, the corporate defendants were also charged with the failure to report a hazardous condition to the Coast Guard, a breach in the hull of the vessel that resulted in seawater going into tanks on the vessel that occurred before the vessel came to port in Delaware and directing lower level crew members to withhold evidence from the Coast Guard.
Why were records falsified?
The charges stem from the falsification of records and other acts designed to cover up from the Coast Guard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the Bahamian-flagged cargo vessel, M/V Nederland Reefer.
What is the allegation?
According to the indictment, on Feb. 21, the M/V Nederland Reefer entered the Port of Delaware Bay with a false and misleading Oil Record Book available for inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The book failed to accurately record transfers and discharges of oily wastewater on the vessel.
Who were charged under the MARPOL act?
The vessel’s management company, Chartworld Shipping Corporation, the vessel’s owner, Nederland Shipping Corporation, and the Chief Engineer of the vessel, Greek national Mazarakis, were all charged.
They were charged for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book as required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, a U.S. law which implements the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, commonly known as MARPOL.
The case investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, is being prosecuted by Senior Trial Attorney David P. Kehoe of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section and Assistant United States Attorney Edmund Falgowski of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware.
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