Greek shipping companies fined $1.5M for pollution

Associated Press


A federal judge in Seattle on Friday ordered two companies owned by a Greek shipping magnate to pay $1.5 million after a jury found that a cargo ship deliberately pumped oil-polluted water into the ocean, then repeatedly lied and falsified records in an effort to deceive inspectors with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Authorities hailed the sentence Friday as a rare success in holding corporate defendants accountable for pollution on the high seas, an offense they describe as notoriously difficult to detect and prove.

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour said he was troubled by the actions of Gallia Graeca LTD and Angelakos (Hellas) SA, which are part of a family of companies ultimately owned by Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Angelakos, and wanted to send a message.

In June, the jury convicted the companies, along with the vessel’s chief and second engineers, of charges related to pollution, falsification of records and fraud.

The engineers each received 10 days in jail.