Prem Kumar Added to EPA Fugitive List
Defendant failed to surrender after indictment in illegal vessel pollution case
Prem Kumar, also known as Premakumaran Krishnan, a citizen of India, has been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s fugitive list for failing to surrender to federal law enforcement authorities after he was indicted for his role in an illegal ocean-going vessel wastewater discharge case. Illegally discharging wastewater into the ocean threatens aquatic life and can lead to fish kills, contamination of fish and shellfish, and may have long-term ecological effects.
Kumar and Fleet Management Ltd., a commercial ship management company based in Hong Kong, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Corpus Christi, Texas, on April 29, 2010. Fleet Management was charged with one count of failing to maintain an accurate oil record book as required by the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction.
Kumar, who worked as a marine superintendent for the company, was charged in a four-count indictment with obstruction, conspiracy and making false statements. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The obstruction of justice charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An indictment is an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
To date, information from citizens or law enforcement organizations have assisted in the arrest or capture of five fugitives and the surrender of two others. Of the seven former fugitives, five have been sentenced, one is awaiting sentencing and one was found not guilty. With the addition of Kumar, there are currently 17 fugitives on EPA’s fugitive list.
Since fugitives may be armed and dangerous, the public should not try to apprehend any of the individuals. Citizens may also report the information to their local police or, if outside the United States, to the nearest U.S. Embassy.