Norway’s national economic crime unit (Okokrim) has raided the local office of Bermuda-based shipping company Teekay Offshore this week on suspicion of illegally exporting waste, the agency informed. However, the company denies any wrongdoing.
Authorities had carried out a search of Teekay Shipping Norway’s office in Stavanger on Tuesday, questioned witnesses and “seized potential evidence, Maria Bache Dahl, senior public prosecutor with Okokrim, told Reuters.
The company is suspected of illegal export of waste, from the shuttle tanker Navion Britannia, which sailed from Norway in 2018, and reached Alang, India in July 2018, she said.
The investigation will focus on whether the export was in violation of Norwegian and EU regulations of waste export.
Teekay Offshore confirmed in a statement that the vessel was part of their fleet and their office had been raided.
The company said the vessel had been sent to an Indian yard in 2018 for recycling in full compliance with the requirements and standards of the Hong Kong Convention.
As a responsible operator, we are open and transparent about our practices and have nothing to hide. We have followed all rules and regulations in the related export and recycling processes,
…Teekay Offshore was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Dahl added Norwegian police had not yet reached a conclusion over whether the vessel must be considered as waste before sailing from Norway.
The Hong Kong Convention lays down requirements for the safe and environmentally friendly recycling of ships and the disposal of hazardous materials.
Bangladesh, Pakistan and India are the key destinations for ship scrapping, but are also criticized over dirty and dangerous shipbreaking, with marine pollution, hazardous waste dumping and unsafe working conditions, as well as the illegal exploitation of child workers, being among the key areas of concern.