Singapore-based Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), controlled by tycoon Robert Kuok, was sentenced in a US federal court after pleading guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, obstruction of justice, and for a failure to notify the US Coast Guard of a hazardous condition on 2003-built bulk carrier Pac Antares.
PCL pleaded guilty to a total of eight felony offences and was sentenced to pay a fine of $12m. The company was also placed on probation for four years and ordered to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance plan.
PCL admitted that crew onboard the vessel knowingly failed to record in the vessel’s oil record book the overboard discharge of oily bilge water and oil waste in April and September 2019.
The company also also admitted that the crew discharged oily garbage and plastic overboard and falsified the garbage record book.
Additionally, a large space along the keel of the vessel was being used to store oily waste, which is a hazardous condition under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. It should have been immediately reported to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Wenguang Ye, the chief engineer on the vessel, pleaded guilty to falsifying the oil record book, and was sentenced to a fine of $5,500 and banned from entering the United States for one year.
The Pac Antares was previously involved in another prosecution, with PCL penalised $2.1m for concealing the overboard discharge of oily bilge water.