Cyprus-based ship manager Interorient Marine Services has been fined $2m by a US district Court in Like Charles after the company pleaded guilty to a felony charge of falsifying a ship’s oil records in order to dump waste directly into Gulf of Mexico.
According to the court file, the company intentionally tampered with the pollution prevention equipment on oil tanker Ridgebury Alexandra Z to dump the oily waste.
In addition to the fine, the company’s plea deal requires it to serve four years on probation. During that time, all ships operated by the company that call on US ports will be required to implement an environmental compliance plan.
Criminal charges are also pending against the ship’s captain, Vjaceslavs Birzakovs.
“Tankers are required to offload their waste oil at disposal facilities at ports and not into the Gulf of Mexico. This case should serve as a deterrent to other individuals and companies that ignore our laws, pollute our waters, and damage our environment,” US Attorney David Joseph said in a statement.