Singaporean shipping company convicted in US for concealing illegal discharges of oily water

Zao Galaxy (Photo: Unix Line)

Unix Line, a Singapore-based shipping company, has pleaded guilty in US federal court to a violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

The guilty plea was submitted to US Court of the Northern District of California on Wednesday, February 26.

In pleading guilty, Unix Line admitted that its crewmembers onboard the tanker Zao Galaxy knowingly failed to record in the vessel’s oil record book the overboard discharge of oily bilge water without the use of required pollution-prevention equipment during the vessel’s voyage from the Philippines to Richmond, California.

According to the plea agreement, Unix Line is the operator of Zao Galaxy, which set sail from the Philippines on January 21, 2019, heading toward Richmond, California, carrying a cargo of palm oil. On February 11, 2019, the tanker arrived in Richmond, where it underwent a US Coast Guard inspection and examination.

Examiners discovered that during the voyage, a Unix Line-affiliated ship officer directed the crew to discharge oily bilge water overboard, using a configuration of drums, flexible pipes, and flanges to bypass the vessel’s oil water separator. The discharges were knowingly not recorded in the vessel’s oil record book.

Unix Line’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 20 before a US District court judge in Oakland, California.

Unix Line had earlier been indicted along with Marshall Islands-registered company FGL Moon Marshall and Zao Galaxy‘s first assistant engineer for the illegal discharges and the deliberate omission of the discharges from the oil record book.

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