AUGUST 23, 2017 — A federal grand jury in Portland, Maine, returned a nine-count indictment yesterday charging the manager and owner of a 2016-built Liberian flagged bulker with offenses related to the vessel’s Oil Record Book.
Schnaittenbach, Germany, based ship operator MST Mineralien Schiffarht Spedition Und Transport GmbH (MST) and Reederei MS “Marguerita” GmbH & Co. Geschlossene Investment KG (Reederei) are charged with failing to keep accurate pollution control records and falsifying records.
The Justice Department says that the charges stem from the falsification of records in 2016 and 2017 designed to cover up overboard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the 27,674 dwt bulker M/V Marguerita.
On at least eight occasions between September 2016 and June 2016, the indictment alleges, the M/V Marguerita entered United States waters and ports with a false and misleading Oil Record Book available for inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Oil Record Book failed to accurately record transfers and discharges of oily wastewater on the vessel.
The vessel’s management company, MST Mineralien Schiffarht Spedition Und Transport, and the vessel’s owner, Reederei MS “Marguerita,” are charged with failing to maintain an accurate oil record book as required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the U.S. law which implements the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL. The companies were also charged with falsification of records with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence inspections and examinations of the M/V Marguerita by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The case was investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service and is being prosecuted by John Cashman and Shane Waller of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section.