DSD Shipping and four of its employees have been hit with a second indictment relating to illegal discharges from one of the company’s vessels.Last week, a federal grand jury in Lafayette, Louisiana, returned a three-count indictment charging Norwegian-based shipping company Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskab AS, aka DSD Shipping, and four employees with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice.
According to the indictment, in 2014, DSD Shipping and its employees discharged oil-contaminated waste water generated aboard the DSD-operated crude oil tanker Stavanger Blossom directly into the sea. To hide the illegal discharges, DSD Shipping and its employees then maintained a fictitious oil record book that failed to record the discharges. The indictment further alleges that prior to an inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard, one of the engineering officers ordered crewmembers to remove piping connected to the vessel’s overboard discharge valve, install new piping, and repaint the piping to hinder an inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard.
DSD Shipping and the engineering officers were charged with violating the APPS for failing to record overboard discharges in the vessel’s oil record book and with obstruction of justice for presenting false documents and deceiving the Coast Guard during an inspection in the Port of Lake Charles. If convicted, DSD Shipping could be fined up to $500,000 per count, in addition to other possible penalties.
The crewmembers – identified as Daniel Paul Dancu of Romania and Bo Gao, Xiaobing Chen and Xin Zhong, all from China – face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if found guilty of the obstruction of justice charges.
This is the second indictment stemming from a joint, multi-district investigation into the crime. In May, DSD Shipping and the four employees were also indicted in the Southern District of Alabama with a seven-count indictment charging related conduct.