DSD Shipping and four crew members have been charged in the US with MARPOL and other violations.
The seven-count indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on 13 May, includes conspiracy, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.
The indictment alleges that Stavanger, Norway-based DSD and ship engineers Daniel Paul Dancu, 51, of Romania, and Chinese nationals Bo Gao, 49, Xiaobing Chen, 34, and Xin Zhong, 28, conspired to bypass pollution control equipment using a so-called “magic pipe” while working on board the 2007-built, 105,641dwt tanker Stavanger Blossom in 2014.
In addition, DSD and its employees allegedly filled plastic bags with waste oil from a sludge tank aboard the vessel and then discarded the oil-filled plastic bags overboard into the sea.
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The indictment also alleges that between 12 and 19 November, while the ship was docked at the Port of Mobile, Alabama, DSD and some of the other defendants instructed crew members to lie to the US Coast Guard about throwing plastic bags overboard.
If convicted, DSD could be fined up to $500,000 per count, in addition to other possible penalties, according to the US Department of Justice. The four indicted crew members each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.