Following criminal investigations conducted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection: The Haifa Magistrate’s Court imposed fines totaling NIS 400,000 on shipowners moored in Haifa and other officials, for sea pollution in oil and irregularities in ship books
Two different convictions were recently received in the Haifa Magistrate’s Court by Judge Orit Kantor on shipowners and officials for oil pollution and irregularities in the ship’s books, following a criminal investigation conducted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and indictments filed.
Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel:
The routine inspections and enforcement actions of the inspectors of the Ministry of Environmental Protection against ships calling at ports in Israel increase the deterrence against shipowners and their crews. We will protect the marine environment and take care of everything that violates the law
Conviction of URANUS SHIPPING & TRANSPORT:
The Haifa Magistrate’s Court (Judge Orit Kantor) recently convicted URANUS SHIPPING & TRANSPORT as part of a plea bargain, and ruled that the company’s owners and other officials will pay a total fine of NIS 253,000 for defects in the oil book of its ship docked in Haifa port.
As part of the plea deal, the defendants pleaded guilty to the facts in the indictment as revealed in a criminal investigation opened by the National Marine Environmental Protection Unit in the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The defendants were convicted of the offenses attributed to them in the indictment: spilling oil into seawater, prohibiting dirt in the public domain, illegally filling out an oil book and illegally keeping a garbage diary.
The investigation was opened after in August 2019, by inspectors from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Shipping and Ports Authority, serious irregularities were discovered in the oil book records of the cattle ship URANUS L, which sailed with the flag of Sierra Leon and docked at the Israeli shipyard in Haifa.
The audit revealed serious irregularities in the management of the ship’s garbage and oil books, whose job it is to monitor and document all routine activities related to the transfer of oils and garbage on the vessel. Irregularities as discovered, raise an immediate suspicion of dumping garbage or dumping oil into the sea. An inspection of the ship’s engine room showed the ship’s main drive shaft leaking oil out and water entering.
Following the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the court imposed a fine of NIS 223,000 on the defendants, plus a financial obligation to refrain from committing the offense in the amount of NIS 446,000 for two years. The captain and the chief mechanic were fined NIS 15,000 each, plus an obligation of NIS 30,000 to refrain from committing the offense for two years.
TANGO REY Company Conviction:
A review by inspectors of the National Marine Protection Unit of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and inspectors of the Shipping and Ports Authority, conducted on the TANGO REY ship carrying the I Cook flag, while docking at the port of Haifa in October 2019, found serious deficiencies in the ship’s oil books.
The audit raised serious irregularities in the management of the ship’s oil book, and an immediate suspicion of illegal oil spills into the sea.
Following the audit, inspectors from the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Marine Unit opened a criminal investigation and filed an indictment against the ship’s owners, captain and chief mechanic.
In a plea agreement reached by the parties, the Haifa Magistrate’s Court convicted the defendants and imposed a fine of NIS 135,000 on the ship’s owners and a financial obligation of NIS 270,000 to refrain from committing the offense for two years.
The chief mechanic was fined NIS 15,000, as well as a financial commitment of NIS 30,000 to refrain from committing the offense for two years.
As the ship’s captain was not located, the proceedings against him were suspended. If he is located in Israel in the future, it will be possible to resume the proceedings against him subject to the provisions of the law.
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