Singaporean Shipping Company Convicted of Ocean Pollution under APPS
Singaporean Shipping Company, Unix Line PTE Ltd., pled guilty to violations of ocean pollution under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (“APPS”) last week. The company admitted its oil records were inaccurate, concealing Unix Line’s failure to use required pollution prevention equipment.
In 2019, the Unix Line ship, Zao Galaxy, directed the crew to dump oily bilge water into the Pacific Ocean without the required anti-pollution equipment. They knowingly did not report this dumping in violation of APPS. U.S. Coast Guard inspectors uncovered the failure to report, but there have been many cases where whistleblowers reveal similar violations.
Sentencing for the Unix Line will take place on March 20, 2020. Any whistleblower who facilitated the U.S. Coast Guard’s ability to uncover the fraudulent records of ocean pollution would be eligible for an award of up to 50% of any fine against the Unix Line. Under APPS, whistleblowers may hail from any country and do not have to be United States residents or citizens to be eligible for an award.
See the Department of Justice Press Release: Singaporean Shipping Company Convicted for Concealing Illegal Discharges of Oily Water