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MMEA detains two Malaysia-registered tankers for illegal STS oil transfer

Oil products tanker “MT Tuah Sejagat” was found to be transferring about 400,000 liters of diesel onto tanker “MT Scorpio”, also registered in Malaysia, during an inspection by MMEA.

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The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Thursday (9 November) said two ships suspected of conducting ship-to-ship (STS) oil transfer activities were detailed by Selangor State Maritime in Kapar waters on 5 November. 

Selangor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) deputy director (operations) Maritime Commander Mohd Sharenliza Ghazali said two ships were successfully apprehended at a position of approximately 0.7 nautical miles South West of Kapar at 12.15pm.

During an inspection, Malaysia-registered oil products tanker MT Tuah Sejagat was found to be transferring approximately 400,000 liters of diesel onto tanker MT Scorpio, also registered in Malaysia.

MMEA personnels also found MT Tuah Sejagat was crewed by six Indonesians aged between 29 to 35 while MT Scorpio had nine Indonesian crew members, one from Myanmar and two Malaysians; aged between 20 to 35.

MMEA said among the offenses committed is the failure to present any authorisation document for the STS oil transfer.

Two crew members of MT Tuah Sejagat and two crew members of MT Scorpio ship have been detained and taken to the Selangor State Maritime office for further investigation.

The case will be investigated under the Section 491B of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for illegal transfer of fuel and those found guilty can be fined not more than RM100,000. 

Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 10 November, 2023

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Legal

Shipowner and captain fined for using heavy fuel oil around Svalbard

Foreign shipping company has been fined NOK 1 million for having sailed one of its cargo ships with heavy fuel oil on board within the territorial waters around Svalbard; captain has been fined NOK 30,000.

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A foreign shipping company has been fined NOK 1 million (USD 94,632) for having sailed one of its ships with heavy fuel oil on board within the territorial waters around Svalbard, which is a breach of the Svalbard Environment Act, according to the Governor of Svalbard on Thursday (13 June). 

In addition, the captain has been fined NOK 30,000.

On 6 June 2024, the cargo ship passed into Svalbard's territorial waters, despite the vessel having heavy fuel oil on board, which was established by an inspection carried out by inspectors from the Norwegian Maritime Directorate on the same day.

“This is a breach of Section 82a of the Svalbard Environment Act, which stipulates that ships calling at Svalbard cannot use or have heavy fuel oil as a means of transport. The provision applies to the whole of Svalbard and was introduced on 1 January 2022,” Lars Fause said. 

For the violation of Section 82a of the Svalbard Environment Act, the Governor of Svalbard has issued a forfeiture order against the foreign shipping company of NOK 1,000,000. In addition, the captain of the ship has been fined NOK 30,000.

“It is the first time that the Governor has fined a company in connection with a breach of the heavy oil provision on Svalbard,” he added. 

The fines have not been accepted. The shipping company provided a guarantee for the sum of the fine and was thus allowed to sail down from Svalbard on Wednesday evening, 12 June.

The main hearing in the case is scheduled for the Nord-Troms district court in early October.

 

Photo credit: Venti Views on Unsplash
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Legal

Captain of oil tanker “PS Dream” pleads guilty for pollution violations

Captain Abdurrahman Korkmaz, in his plea, acknowledged presenting the books to Coast Guard knowing that they omitted information about discharging oily waste to ocean before arriving in United States.

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A Turkish captain of an oil tanker pleaded guilty on Tuesday (11 June) to a two-count information charging him with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and for obstructing proceedings. 

Captain Abdurrahman Korkmaz, 37, was the captain of the PS Dream, a Panama-flagged motor tanker. The two related companies that operated the PS Dream pleaded guilty last month to environmental crimes.

The PS Dream arrived in New Orleans on 26 January, 2023. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted an inspection which included a review of the vessel’s oil record books. In his plea, Korkmaz acknowledged presenting the books to the Coast Guard knowing that they omitted information about discharging oily waste to the ocean before arriving in the United States. 

The falsified logs were intended to conceal the fact that beginning on 11 January, the crew had dumped oil-contaminated waste overboard on the voyage to New Orleans and was not complying with international treaties regulating oil pollution from ships.

According to documents and statements filed in court, Korkmaz ordered his crew to pump overboard from the residual oil tank which contained oily waste. A portable pump placed inside the tank and connected to a long flexible hose was used to discharge directly into the ocean without any required pollution prevention equipment or monitoring. The waste oil, including sludge, originated in the engine room and had been improperly transferred into the residual oil tank on the deck of the ship by a prior crew.

Senior managers at Prive Shipping LLC and Prive Shipping Denizcilik Ticaret – two related companies that operated the ship – were aware that the oil-contaminated waste remained in the tank and were informed by Korkmaz that it had been dumped overboard. Both companies pleaded guilty and are scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 26.

Korkmaz is scheduled to be sentenced on 10 September. He faces a maximum penalty of six years in prison, with a fine of up to USD 250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offence, for the APPS charge. 

He also faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, with a fine of up to UDD 250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offence, for the obstruction charge. 

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Manifold Times previously reported that two related companies that operated PS Dream – Prive Overseas Marine LLC and Prive Shipping Denizcilik Ticaret – pleaded guilty to conspiracy, knowingly violating the APPS and obstruction of justice related to the falsification of the tanker’s Oil Record Book, which is a required log.

Related: Shipping firms face USD 2 mil fine after pleading guilty for dumping oil at sea

 

Photo credit: büra keskendir / MarineTraffic
Published: 18 June 2024

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Environment

Hellenic Overseas and Leth Incargo charged for bunker fuel spills into Singapore waters

Hellenic Overseas Maritime Enterprises and Leth Incargo Marine Services were each handed one charge under Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Act in two separate cases at a Singapore court.

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Shipping companies Hellenic Overseas Maritime Enterprises and Leth Incargo Marine Services were each charged on Tuesday (4 June) for bunker fuel spills into Singapore waters, according to Channel News Asia (CNA). 

In two separate cases in a Singapore court, they were each handed one charge under the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Act.

Leth Incargo Marine Services was the agent of crude oil tanker Pacific A Dorodchi, which allegedly discharged about 100 litres of high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) onto its deck and into Singapore waters.

The incident took place when the tanker was receiving the fuel from another tanker Maria Cosulich at the Eastern Bunkering Anchorage A on 29 November 2022. 

In the other case, Hellenic Overseas Maritime Enterprises was the agent of crude oil tanker Star Prosperity, which was receiving low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) from another oil tanker, MT Decorum, also at Eastern Bunkering Anchorage A on 9 January 2023.

Star Prosperity allegedly discharged about 100 litres of LSFO from the port quarter vent pipe of its vessel due to a broken valve onto its deck and into Singapore waters.

CNA reported that the crew allegedly “failed to take all reasonable precautions after the damage or discharge was discovered, in order to prevent or minimise oil escaping into Singapore waters”.

Both cases are scheduled to be heard again in July.

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 5 June 2024

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