Chief engineer for Empire Bulkers found not guilty on all counts related to oil discharge in US waters

In October 2021, Warlito Tan, chief engineer for Empire Bulkers, was charged, along with Empire Bulkers and Joanna Maritime Limited, for alleged violations of environmental and safety laws on the bulk carrier  Joanna. The violations were discovered by the US Coast Guard during a March 2021 inspection of the vessel.

Tan was found not guilty on November 16 by a federal jury in New Orleans on all charges. 

The two companies, on the other hand, pled guilty to all charges in May. They admitted to knowingly falsifying the ship’s oil record book, concealing overboard discharges of oil-contaminated waste. They also admitted that, although Tan co-signed discharge entries in the oil record book, he had nothing to do with the operations and had no knowledge of their accuracy.

The companies confessed, as well, to tampering with the discharge line from the pressure relief valves in the purifier room, which could have led to a fire or explosion on board.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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