The Justice Department said two Greek shipping companies, Avin International Ltd. and Nicos I.V. Special Maritime Enterprises, pleaded guilty in a federal court at Beaumont, Texas, this week to charges of multiple oil discharges.
According to the charges, the oil was released in ballast discharges by the companies’ tanker Nicos I.V. at the East Texas ports of Houston and Arthur in early July 2017, violating the Clean Water Act.
The captain of the Nicos I.V., Rafail-Thomas Tsoumakos, and the vessel’s chief officer, Alexios Thomopoulos, also pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Coast Guard during the investigation into the discharges. They face up to five years in prison when sentenced.
Avin International was the operator and Nicos I.V. Special Maritime Enterprises was the owner of the Greek-flagged tanker.
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