A federal grand jury in Lafayette handed up indictments Friday charging a Norwegian oil shipping company and four members of its international crew with illegally discharging contaminated waste water at sea.
The indictment alleges the crew also interfered with an investigation while the vessel Stavanger Blossom was docked at the Port of Lake Charles.
Crew members and the company are accused of discharging oily water at sea then trying to cover it up by replacing discharge piping through which the contaminated water was pumped.
DSD Shipping and ship engineers from Romania and China are charged with three counts of violating the Act To Prevent Pollution from Ships and obstruction of justice, said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley and Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden, with the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
“To hide the illegal discharges, DSD Shipping and its employees maintained a fictitious oil record book that failed to record the disposal, transfer, or overboard discharge of oil from the vessel,” a news release by the Justice Department says.
The indictment also says one of the engineers ordered others on the crew to replace and repaint the piping connected to a discharge pump to hide the crime.
If convicted, DSD Shipping faces a fine up to $500,000, and each of the four engineers face up to 20 years in prison.