Shippers Plead Guilty to Illegal Dumping
On July 14, 2005, Fairdeal Group Management SA, a ship operator based in Greece, and Fair Voyager Maritime SA, a ship owner based in Liberia, each pleaded guilty to charges that included dumping sludge and oily bilge water into international waters and obstruction of justice.
The companies were immediately sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to pay a $1,050,000 fine and engage in community service by donating $450,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The crimes took place between April 21, 2004, and Nov. 20, 2004, when the crew of the Motor Transport Fair Voyager used a bypass pipe to dump as much as 60 tons of sludge and 40 tons of oily bilge water into the ocean. The companies and crew also obstructed justice by making false entries in an oil record book. Dumping tons of pollutants into the oceans can harm aquatic life, the environment, and the health of humans, who may become exposed to the pollutants in sufficient quantities under certain circumstances.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard and the New York Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.