Shipping company fined $2.2M for cover-up

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Pacific International Lines, a Singapore-based container ship company, was sentenced Monday in D.C. federal court under the terms of a plea agreement that requires the company to pay $2.2 million in criminal penalties, the Department of Justice announced.

Pacific International Lines previously pleaded guilty to three felony charges that it made false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard and violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by concealing illegal waste water operations and discharges in a falsified oil record book – a required log in which all overboard discharges must be recorded – and operating a vessel in waters of the United States without a functioning oil water separator (a required pollution control device). The charges are a result of Pacific International Lines illegal operation of the vessel M/V Southern Lily 2 in June 2012.

"Today's sentencing is a noteworthy success for the few federal law enforcement agencies charged with enforcing U.S. and international maritime laws protecting the oceans and natural marine resources both around the remote U.S. Pacific Islands and throughout the vast area of the South Pacific," said Joshua J. Masterson, Special Agent-in-Charge of Coast Guard Investigative Service-Pacific Region. "This case, being the third of its kind since 2011, should send a clear message to those shipping companies and mariners who willfully cut corners and violate the laws enacted to protect the oceans as well as place a much needed spotlight on this region of the South Pacific."

Click here for the full announcement.