Two Greek shipping companies were sentenced yesterday to pay penalties totalling $2.7m after being convicted for obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, tampering with witnesses and conspiracy.
The case stems from an inspection of the general cargo ship, Ocean Hope, at the Port of Wilmington in July 2015.
The ship was found to have discharged oily wastes into the ocean despite the sea staff’s best efforts to hide the infringement.
Each shipping company was ordered to pay part of its penalty to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in recognition of the threat posed by illegal discharges of oily waste to the marine environment.
Oceanfleet Shipping Limited, the vessel’s operator, was sentenced to pay a $1,350,000 fine and make a $450,000 community service payment to Gray’s Reef.
Oceanic Illsabe Limited, the vessel’s corporate owner, was sentenced to pay a $650,000 fine and make a $250,000 community service payment to the reef.
Each company was placed on a five-year term of probation and barred from sending ships to US ports until its financial penalty has been satisfied.