The US Department of Justice reported that the defendants are chief engineer Ioan Luca and chief engineer Ionel Surla of the containership CMA CGM Amazon.

The defendants are charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy to fail to maintain an accurate oil record book and to defraud the United States, failure to maintain an accurate oil record book, falsification of records in a matter of federal administration, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.


According to the international treaties and US law, all large vessels, as the Amazon, are required to use pollution-control technology, including an oily water separator, to remove oil from bilge water that is discharged into the ocean.

The indictment alleges that Luca and, previously, Surla ordered crew members to use a portable pump and flexible hoses in the ship’s engine room to transfer oil-contaminated bilge water to a tank designed to hold clean water, then dispose of the water directly overboard into international waters, avoiding use of the oily water separator.

... The US Department of Justice added.

Then, the two engineers failed to record their discharge actions in the vessel's oil record book.

The CMA CGM Amazon’s ports of call include various ports in Asia, Egypt, and Canada, as well as the Port of Los Angeles, according to the indictment. While at the Port of Los Angeles on January 11, the ship presented the false oil record book to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors during an inspection, the indictment alleges.

If convicted of all charges, Luca faces a statutory maximum sentence of 61 years in federal prison while Surla faces a statutory maximum sentence of 11 years in federal prison. Capital Ship Management and Luca, who was arrested last month and is free on bond, were previously named in a criminal complaint.

Concluding, in a related case, Marian Gavriluta-Strat, the CMA CGM Amazon’s second engineer, has agreed to plead guilty to an information charging him with failure and causing the failure to maintain an accurate oil record book. Gavriluta-Strat is scheduled to enter a guilty plea to the charges on June 19. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of six years in federal prison.