Former Chief Mate Jailed for Oil Dumping

Oil on Hands

Published Jul 10, 2015 8:10 AM by The Maritime Executive

The former chief mate on the M/V Murcia Carrier, a Panama Flagged cargo ships, was sentenced on Wednesday to three months in prison for environmental crimes.

On April 27, 2014, Valerii Georgiev, a Russian citizen, ordered the crew to dump several barrels of hydraulic oil overboard.  While Georgiev disputes the quantity dumped into the ovean, the federal government believes that 20 barrels were illegally dumped.

The barrels were tossed into international waters just off the Florida coast while the ship was in transit from Costa Rica to New Jersey. The disposal of oil was not recorded in the ship’s log book in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). 

When the U.S.Coast Guard boarded the vessel, Georgiev denied the incident and in the interim the crew supported his denial. But, after further investigation, Georgiev finally admitted his crime and pleaded guilty to the environmental violations.

In June, the M/V Murcia Carrier’s owner, Glasgow-based, Norbulk Shipping UK Ltd, also pleaded guilty for failing to maintain an accurate logbook and for providing false statements about the logbook.  Norbulk was ordered to pay a fine of $750,000 and placed on three years probation.