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Firm to pay USD 3.2 Mn for pollution crimes

German shipping company,
MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH (MST), was
sentenced and ordered to pay a USD 3.2 million criminal fine due to hiding
oil pollution.

According to the US
Department of Justice, the company pleaded guilty and was sentenced
in Portland, Maine, for obstruction of justice and maintaining false official
records to conceal deliberate pollution from its ship the M/V Marguerita.
Namely, the company used
falsified log books to hide intentional discharges of oily bilge waste
occurring over a nine-month period during which the ship regularly made port
calls in Portland, Maine.
According to documents
filed in court, MST discharged oily bilge waste from the Marguerita through the
use of a so-called “magic pipe” that bypasses required pollution prevention
Pursuant to a plea
agreement, the company was ordered to pay a USD 3.2 million fine and serve a
four-year term of probation during which vessels operated by the company will
be required to implement an environmental compliance plan, including
inspections by an independent auditor.
MST, a vessel operator
based in Bavaria, Germany, was convicted of
similar environmental crimes in the District of Minnesota in 2016.
 That federal
case involved the falsification of the oil record book for the M/V Cornelia,
which concealed deliberate discharges of oil-contaminated bilge waste,
including discharges into the Great Lakes. 
MST was on probation in the District
of Minnesota when it committed the crimes charged in Maine.
World Maritime News.

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