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Chief engineer of cargo ship convicted in oil-discharge case

A cargo ship’s chief engineer was convicted by a federal jury in New Orleans on Tuesday of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

Matthaios Fafalios, 64, of Greece, was convicted of knowingly falsifying the vessel’s oil record book, obstruction of justice and witness tampering related to his service onboard the M/V Trident Navigator and a subsequent Coast Guard boarding of the vessel in January, announced the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

In late December 2013, Fafalios ordered his engineering crew to construct what is known in the industry as a “magic hose” to discharge the oily wastewater that was in the vessel’s bilge holding tank, prosecutors said.

The operator of the vessel, Marine Managers Ltd., has already pleaded guilty to knowingly falsifying the oil record book and obstruction of justice and paid a criminal penalty of $900,000.

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