Cyprus shipping company fined US$2 Million in US federal court for concealing illegal discharges of oily water into the Atlantic

Protefs (Photo: HILY)

Diana Wilhelmsen Management (DWM), a Cyprus-based company that operates several commercial vessels, was recently sentenced in a US federal court in Virginia after pleading guilty to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships that had occurred on one of its ships.

DWM pleaded guilty to two felony offenses in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of Louisiana. DWM was sentenced to pay a fine of US$2 million, placed on probation for a period of four years, and ordered to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan as a special condition of probation.

In pleading guilty, DWM admitted that crewmembers onboard Protefs, a Bahamas-registered ocean-going commercial bulk carrier, knowingly failed to record in the vessel’s oil record book the overboard discharge of oily bilge water into the Atlantic Ocean from mid-April 2020 until before the vessel arrived in Newport News, Virginia, on June 10, 2020.

The vessel also arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 1, 2020 with a knowingly false oil record book.

DWM admitted that the crew on the vessel used an emergency de-watering system to illegally discharge oily water directly into the ocean from the vessel’s bilge holding tank, duct keel, and bilge wells. Those discharges were not recorded in the oil record book as required.

Chief engineer Vener Dailisan pleaded guilty to making a false statement to US Coast Guard inspectors about the existence of a sounding log, which is routinely sought by inspectors in order to ascertain the accuracy of the oil record book. Mr Dailisan was sentenced to pay a fine of US$3,000 and placed on probation for two years.

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