Avin International and Nicos I.V. Special Maritime Enterprises were sentenced to pay a $4 million fine for illegally dumping oily bilge in the waters off Houston and Port Arthur.
The U.S. Justice Department said two Greek shipping companies were sentenced in a East Texas federal court on Friday for illegally discharging oily bilge from a tanker into the waters off Houston and Port Arthur.
Avin International LTD and Nicos I.V. Special Maritime Enterprises, operator and owner respectively of the Greek-flagged tanker Nicos I.V., pleaded guilty to one count of failure to report a discharge of oil under the Clean Water Act and three counts of negligent discharge of oil under the Clean Water Act on Nov. 26.
Under the plea agreement, the companies will pay a $4 million criminal fine and serve a four-year probation. The companies also are required to implement an environmental compliance plan, including inspections by an independent auditor, for their vessels, the Justice Department said.
The ship’s captain, Rafail-Thomas Tsoumakos, and Alexios Thomopoulos, chief officer, also pleaded guilty on Dec. 20 to making false statements to the Coast Guard during the investigation into the discharges. Both men were sentenced to pay fines of $10,000 each.
According to court documents, the oily discharges from the Nicos I.V. occurred in early July 2017.