Shipping Companies Fined $2 Million for Deliberate Oil Dumping and Record Falsification

Shipping Companies Fined $2 Million

23rd May 2024

Report : Shipping firms fined $2M for oil dumping, record keeping fraud.

Two shipping companies, Prive Overseas Marine LLC and Prive Shipping Denizcilik Ticaret, pleaded guilty in a New Orleans federal court to charges of conspiracy, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from their falsification of the oil record book aboard their motor tanker, the PS Dream.

The case began with a crew member’s bravery. On January 11th, 2023, this crew member witnessed the illegal dumping of oil overboard and captured the act on video. They then reported the incident to the Coast Guard New Orleans Sector. When the PS Dream arrived in New Orleans two weeks later, the whistleblower and another crew member came forward with their evidence.

The investigation revealed that the companies had ordered the crew to pump oily waste directly into the ocean, bypassing pollution prevention equipment and violating MARPOL Annex I, an international treaty that regulates oil pollution from ships. To conceal their crime, the companies then falsified the ship’s oil record book, a critical log documenting the handling of oil waste.

Oil Dumping

“Deliberate pollution from ships, intentional falsification of records, and obstruction of justice are serious environmental crimes that will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “[This case] highlights the importance of whistleblowers who come forward with evidence of environmental crimes.”

The guilty pleas were entered before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown. If the court approves the plea agreement, the companies will be fined a total of $2 million and placed on four years of probation. Notably, $500,000 of the fine will be directed towards environmental protection projects in the area affected by the crime. The whistleblowers who played a crucial role in bringing the companies to justice may also be awarded up to $500,000 from the penalty.

Also Read : Red Sea Reroute: Houthi Attacks Drive Up Carbon Emissions by Millions

Separate charges have been filed against the PS Dream’s Turkish captain, Abdurrahman Korkmaz. Captain Korkmaz faces accusations of violating APPS and obstructing the Coast Guard’s inspection.

“Today’s outcome sends a powerful message,” said Captain Greg Callaghan, Deputy Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans. “The Coast Guard and our partners are steadfast in our commitment to safeguarding our waters and holding accountable those who threaten our marine ecosystems. We encourage individuals to continue reporting any suspicious activity.”


This case serves as a stark reminder of the environmental damage caused by deliberate pollution from ships. It also highlights the critical role whistleblowers play in exposing such crimes. The significant fines imposed and the potential reward for the whistleblowers send a strong message that environmental violations will not be tolerated and that those who come forward with information will be protected. The ongoing prosecution of the ship’s captain further emphasizes the commitment to hold all parties accountable, from crew members following orders to those issuing them. The directed use of a portion of the fine towards environmental projects demonstrates a positive step towards repairing the damage caused.

Also Read : Over 4,000 Ship Engines Implicated in Japanese Fuel Efficiency Scandal

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