May 7, 2009
Prison for chief engineer in pollution case
Carmelo Oria, a Spanish citizen who was the chief engineer on the Cyprus-flagged M/T Nautilus, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts for maintaining inaccurate records that concealed a discharge of oil-contaminated water from the bilges of the M/T Nautilus, the Justice Department announced.
Oria was sentenced to one month in prison, to be followed by supervised release for a term of two years and a $3,000 fine.
Oria pleaded guilty on March 9, 2009, to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships based on his role in discharging oil-contaminated bilge water directly into the ocean from the M/T Nautilus (a 26,794 gt chemical tanker owned by Cyprus-based Iceport Shipping Company Ltd., and operated by Spanish-based Consultores de Navegacion S.A) and then failing to record the discharge in the ship's records.
"This sentence sends a loud and clear message to crewmembers and companies alike that dumping pollution directly overboard and attempting to conceal it will lead to penalties," said John C. Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "Maritime companies and their employees must understand that violations of our nation's laws are serious and the Justice Department stands ready to prosecute those who choose to ignore them."