Specifically, Fukuichi Gyogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Fukuichi), was convicted and sentenced in the District of Guam for two violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and one count of obstruction of an agency proceeding.
According to the Court's statement, the charges stemmed from discharges of waste oil and oily bilge water from the vessel into international waters and the attempt to cover up those discharges when the vessel was inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard in Apra Harbor, Guam.
Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division commented
Fukuichi broke the law when the company intentionally discharged oily bilge waste into the ocean. To make matters worse, Fukuichi tried to cover up their unlawful acts by obstructing the routine Coast Guard inspection.
Moreover, the charges also included failing to rightly document the discharge of fishing gear and plastics from the vessel and obstructing a Coast Guard Port State Control inspection.
The inspectors discovered numerous leaks of water and oil into the bilges and the Chief Engineer confessed that the practice on the vessel was to discharge waste oil and oily bilge water directly into the ocean using an emergency bilge pump system and buckets.
Concluding, Fukuichi pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an agency proceeding, and two counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. In addition to being ordered to pay a $1.5 million criminal fine and serve a five-year term of probation, Fukuichi will also be required to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) that includes vessel audits.