DIANA Containerships has been fined US$1.1 million and sentenced to three and half years of probation for falsification of oil record books resulting in discharge of waste liquids.
The so-called 'magic pipe case', referring to US pollution cases on changes to a ship's oily water separator, resulted in two crewmembers, Ioannis Prokakis and Antonios Boumpoutelos being convicted of lying to the US Coast Guard over illegal discharge of waste oil and dirty water.
The vessel's chief engineer and second engineer were convicted following a 12-day bench trial in Norfolk, Virginia on August 2013. They were found guilty of conspiracy to lie to inspectors of the US Coast Guard over knowing falsification of environmental records could be sentenced to five years, and six for not updating oil record book and 20 years for falsification of records. The chief engineer could face an additional five years for obstruction.
The Athens-based shipowner's subsidiary Diana Shipping Services faces maximum fine of $5.5 million and up to five years' probation. The company's legal counsel said that the incident is a blight on a clear record of environmental compliance for its fleet of 40 bulkers.
The company has reviewed its operations and implemented an enhanced environmental management system that has been independently audited and certified ISO 14001-compliant, said its director Ioannis Zafirakis, reported Lloyds List.
Source : HKSG.