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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Us Department Of Justice News

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Seaport Employees Can Help Stop Human Trafficking

A seaport never sleeps. Cargo shipping is vital for keeping supply chains moving and the country fed and well-supplied during the current pandemic. Port employees have continued working throughout the pandemic. They’ve not shut down or decreased hours like so many industries have. Another industry that has never shut down is human trafficking. In fact, as much of the world has turned its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic—the illegal crime of human trafficking has been able to flourish.Although it is quietly hidden, human trafficking thrives during times of chaos and vulnerability.

Copyright: diegocardini/AdobeStock

IMO 2020: U.S. Restricts the Use of Certain Fuels in Scrubber Vessels

With the January 1 implementation of IMO 2020, which requires dramatic reductions in the sulfur content of emissions from ocean-going vessels, the United States government issued a new rule that it asserts actually facilitates the distribution of compliant fuel.The US Environmental Protection Agency asserts that it is taking steps to allow for the distribution of distillate fuel with sulfur content of up to 5,000 ppm sulfur—something that it asserts was previously prohibited.

SHI to Pay $75m in Fine: US Justice Dept

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries Co. (SHI) has agreed to pay $75 million in penalties to avoid prosecution in the United States over its scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to Brazilian officials to win a contract.“Samsung Heavy Industries paid millions of dollars to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that some of that money would be used to bribe high-level executives at Petrobras and obtain a lucrative shipbuilding contract,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

OOIL Sells Long Beach Terminal for $1.8bln

Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas International Ltd. (OOIL) said that it will sell Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) to a consortium led by Australia’s Macquarie Group for $1.78 billion.OOIL, which is majority-owned by Cosco Shipping Holdings, was the terminal operator under a lease agreement with the port. It has entered into a Sale and Purchase Agreement to sell 100% of LBCT  to the consortium led by Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP). LBCT LLC operates the container terminal in the Port of Long Beach…

file Image / CREDIT Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd: U.S. Probe Ends with no Obligations

Germany's Hapag-Lloyd is cleared of a U.S. Department of Justice probe into the practices of container shipping companies, with no charges brought, a spokesman said on Tuesday."Hapag-Lloyd was informed that the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division is closing its investigation without charges against the company, its affiliates or any other current or former employees," he said.This followed similar statements by bigger rivals Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company…

File Image (CREDIT: Maersk)

Maersk: Firm Cleared in U.S. Shipping Investigation

A.P. Moller Maersk said on Tuesday a U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation into the practices of container shipping companies had closed and the group was released from any obligations.In 2017, the DoJ ordered top executives from several container shipping lines including Maersk to testify in an antitrust investigation over practices by an industry that is the backbone of world trade."We are pleased to confirm that the United States Department of Justice has closed its…

(Photo: Glencore)

Glencore CEO Glasenberg Plans to Retire in 3-5 Years

Glencore Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg has told investors he plans to retire from the commodities trader and miner in three to five years, Bloomberg reported on Monday.Glasenberg has started training three to four people to succeed him in the job, but did not disclose the shortlist of candidates, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.Glasenberg, who is also the company's second-largest shareholder with a 8.56-percent stake, according to Refinitiv Eikon data…

(U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Barker)

Inchcape to Pay $20 Mln for Allegedly Overbilling US Navy

U.K. based marine services contractor Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited and several of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay $20 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the U.S. Navy under contracts for ship husbanding services, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.Inchcape provided goods and services, including food and other subsistence items, waste removal, telephone services, ship-to-shore transportation, force protection services and local transportation…

Keppel O&M to Pay US$422m to Resolve Petrobras Issue

Keppel Corporation Limited (Keppel Corporation or Keppel) today confirmed that KOM has reached a global resolution with criminal authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore in relation to corrupt payments made by KOM's former agent in Brazil,  Zwi Skornicki. As part of the global resolution, KOM has accepted a conditional warning from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in Singapore, and entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the U.S.

FMC Commissioner William P. Doyle

Cyber Attacks Threaten Shipping & Dominate Maritime News

The maritime industry must redouble its efforts to secure IT systems and data. In June, Maersk Line A/S’s information systems were severely disrupted by the so-called Petya virus. FMC provided Maersk with relief to help them get through the difficult situation. In Mid-July, a researcher penetrated a ship’s internet system through its very small aperture system (VSAT). The ship was operating in the South America trade. An internet security researcher identified as “x0rz” discovered that many shipboard VSAT systems can be penetrated through the public internet…

(Photo: Maersk Line)

A Full Agenda for the International Container Trades

The past couple of months have been chock-a-block full of maritime activity in the international container trades. As the Big-3 Japanese Lines remain still on track to spin-off their container business units into a single standalone container carrier company, some delayed merger and acquisition activity is finally moving ahead. Separately, Congress has taken a keen interest in the Shipping Act. On May 2, 2017, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), unanimously voted to reject the Tripartite Agreement proposed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.

Maersk to Pay $4 Bln for Hamburg Sud

The world's biggest container shipping company Maersk Line will pay 3.7 billion euros ($4.02 billion) for its acquisition of smaller German rival Hamburg Sud, it said on Friday. Combined, the two companies will be able to realise annual operational savings of about $350 million to $400 million, Maersk Line said in a statement fleshing out detail on the deal announced in December. "By keeping Hamburg Sud as a separate and well-run company, we will limit the transaction and integration risks and costs while still extracting the operational synergies…

File photo: Hapag-Lloyd

Container Shippers Ordered to Testify in US Investigation

The U.S. Justice Department has ordered top executives from several container shipping lines to testify in an antitrust investigation into an industry that is the backbone of global trade, the companies said on Wednesday. The world's biggest container shipper, Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, Germany's Hapag Lloyd, Taiwan-based Evergreen, Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) said their executives were among those who had been subpoenaed. The United States is concerned that the proposed alliances of several major companies…

Italian Tanker Officer Receives 8-month Prison Sentence

A senior engineering officer employed by an Italian shipping company was sentenced to eight months in prison for deliberately concealing a vessel’s discharge of oily waste into the sea, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Girolamo Curatolo of Custonaci, Sicily, the chief engineer of an oil tanker, the M/T Cielo di Milano, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to violate the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence November 21 in Newark federal court.

Senior Officers Admit to Concealing Oily Waste Discharge

Two senior engineering officers employed by an Italian shipping company admitted they deliberately concealed their vessel’s discharge of oily waste into the sea, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Girolamo Curatolo, 50, of Custonaci, Sicily, the chief engineer of an oil tanker, the M/T Cielo di Milano, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to violate the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

(Photo: Casey Ware)

US Judge Approves BP Civil Settlement with US Government over 2010 Spill

U.S. Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval on Monday to BP Plc's civil settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after it reached a deal in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states. The company at the time said its total pre-tax charges from the spill set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs were around $53.8 billion. Under the terms of the original agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Gulf Coast states…

Sutherland Continues Expansion in the Northeast

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has announced that Paul C. Freeman has joined the firm’s Energy, Environmental and Commodities Practice Group as counsel in the New York office. Prior to joining Sutherland, Freeman maintained a diverse practice as the principal of Freeman Law Group, LLC. His previous experience included serving as counsel at Dewey & LeBoeuf and working in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel in Washington DC. Freeman brings more than 17 years of diverse experience advising clients in the energy…

Greek Shipper Pleads Guilty to Pollution-Related Crimes

Greece-based Chandris was sentenced for deliberately concealing pollution discharges from the ship and falsifying its oil record book while docked in Corpus Christi, AP says quoting, a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Chandris (Hellas) Inc pleaded guilty to both violations and was ordered to pay an $800,000 fine along with a $200,000 community service payment to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Chandris also was sentenced to three years probation, meaning all ships managed by the company will have to comply with an Environmental Compliance Plan…

North American Shipbuilding shipyard in Larose, La. (Photo: Edison Chouest)

Louisiana Shipbuilder Fined for Worker Retaliation

The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with a Louisiana shipbuilder resolving a complaint filed with the department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), claiming the company had retaliated against an individual for filing a discrimination charge with OSC. A Justice Department said its investigation determined that North American Shipbuilding LLC, a division of Edison Chouest Offshore located in Larose, Louisiana…

Photo: NOAA

Ex-BP Engineer Deserves New Gulf Spill Trial -US Appeals Court

A former BP Plc engineer deserves a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans agreed with a lower court judge's decision last June to throw out the defendant Kurt Mix's December 2013 conviction. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval acted after learning that the jury forewoman admitted to having heard in a courthouse elevator that other BP employees were being prosecuted over the spill…

Feds Indict LA Port Police Chief

The chief of police for the port of Los Angeles was indicted on federal corruption charges involving a program to help citizens report criminal activity at the port, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement on Thursday. Ronald Boyd, 57, was named in a 16-count indictment that includes charges of wire fraud involving bribery and kickbacks. The indictment alleges that Boyd helped steer the contract for an app, Portwatch, to an unnamed company with which he had a business relationship.

Photo: NYK

NYK Shipping Exec Jailed for Price Fixing

An employee of Japan-based Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) pleaded guilty today and was sentenced to 15 months in a U.S. prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers and rig bids of international ocean shipping services for roll-on, roll-off cargo, such as cars and trucks, to and from the United States and elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. According to the one-count felony charge filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore on Jan.

U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein (Photo courtesy of: USDOJ)

Chief Engineer Sentenced for Pollution Violations

Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Noly Torato Vidad of the Philippines, the Chief Engineer of the cargo vessel M/V Selene Leader, to eight months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for obstruction of justice and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein; Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division John C. Cruden; and Coast Guard Captain Kevin Kiefer, Captain of the Port of Baltimore.

Second Shipping Exec Sentenced for Price Fixing

A former executive of Japan-based Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) pleaded guilty Friday, February 6, and was sentenced to 14 months in a U.S. prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers and rig bids of international ocean shipping services for roll-on, roll-off cargo, such as cars and trucks, to and from the United States and elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. According to the one-count felony charge filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore on Dec.

Italian Shipbuilder Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes

An Italian shipping firm based in Genoa, Italy, pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by falsifying required ships’ documents to hide the fact that the ship had illegally discharged oil contaminated waste into the ocean on multiple occasions, announced the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Carbofin S.PA. (Carbofin) agreed to plead…

Boom in use around the port of Bayou La Batre, Alabama - May 2010 (Photo: BP)

Timeline: BP Oil Spill Litigation

BP Plc was found "grossly negligent" on Thursday by a federal judge in connection with its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, who oversees litigation related to the disaster, is likely to boost the British oil company's costs emerging from the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history. April 20, 2010 Rig Explodes: An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig at the Macondo exploration well kills 11 workers and releases millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The well is capped in mid-July.