A federal grand jury in Wilmington, Delaware, returned a six-count indictment on April 23, charging Chartworld Shipping Corporation, Nederland Shipping Corporation, and Chief Engineer Vasileios Mazarakis with failing to keep accurate pollution control records, falsifying records, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering, the Justice Department announced.
Specifically, the court’s charges are based on the falsification of records and other acts designed to cover up from the Coast Guard the overboard discharges of oily mixtures and machinery space bilge water from the Bahamian-flagged cargo vessel, M/V Nederland Reefer.
Moreover, the indictment on February 21, 2019, the Nederland Reefer entered the Port of Delaware Bay with a false and misleading Oil Record Book available for inspection by the USCG. The Oil Record Book failed to accurately record transfers and discharges of oily wastewater on the vessel.
The three accused were charged with the incapability of maintaining an accurate oil record book as required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. The defendants were also charged with falsification of records, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering for destroying evidence of the illegal discharges and directing lower level crew members to withhold evidence from the Coast Guard.
As a conclusion, the court charged the defendants with the failure to report a hazardous condition to the Coast Guard, namely a breach in the hull of the vessel and resulting incursion of seawater into tanks on board the vessel that occurred before the vessel came to port in Delaware.