Ship Officials Arrested In Alaska for Pollution Violations

EPA has reported that officials from two ships – the captain of one and the chief engineers of both – were arrested recently for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

Doo Hyon Kim, the captain of the motor vessel, Khana, its chief engineer, In Ho Kim, and Min Gwen Go, the chief engineer of another motor vessel, Sohoh, were arrested and charged in Anchorage, Alaska, recently for allegedly falsifying oil record log books, obstructing a federal investigation and witness tampering regarding the alleged dumping of oil and sludge into ocean waters in and around Alaska. Both vessels are registered in Panama and are used for the shipment of frozen seafood to Asia.

Back in February, the U.S. Coast Guard had detained the vessels in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for possible violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. During Coast Guard inspections, inspectors found oil laden bypass hoses on the two ships. The inspectors believed these hoses were used to circumvent on-board oil water separators, the required pollution control devices which prevent ships from discharging oil into the sea and thus prevent harm to fish and other aquatic life.

The defendants are charged with interfering with the investigation by telling crew members to lie to investigators about the bypass hoses and by maintaining false oil record books.

If convicted on all charges, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and/or fines of up to $500,000.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Anchorage and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.


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