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Ship’s Chief Engineer Sentenced for Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy

WASHINGTON—Petros Renieris, the chief engineer of the M/T Kriton, was sentenced today to two years probation and a $9,000 fine for his role in falsifying Oil Record Book entries to conceal the overboard dumping of waste oil from the tanker ship into international waters and his participation in subsequent efforts to impede the U.S. Coast Guard and other authorities from learning of the dumping, the Justice Department announced.

Renieris, from Pireus, Greece, pleaded guilty Sept. 14, 2007. According to the plea agreement, Renieris admitted to deliberately ignoring the conduct of the employees he supervised as they dumped oil-contaminated wastes from the ship directly into the ocean and to making entries in the ship’s Oil Record Book falsely indicating that the oil pollution prevention equipment on the M/T Kriton had been used to dispose of the waste. Renieris also admitted to destroying the rubber hose used by the crew to dump the waste, also known as the “magic hose,” while the Coast Guard conducted an inspection of the ship. Renieris pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

The M/T Kriton is operated by Ionia Management, a Greek company that manages a fleet of tanker vessels. Ionia Management was convicted on Sept 6, 2007, in New Haven, Conn., on 13 counts of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, three counts of falsifying records in a federal investigation, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of conspiracy. The maximum fine on each count is $500,000, for a total maximum fine of $9 million. Ionia Management is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 13, 2007.

The investigation was conducted by the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigative Division. Assistance was also provided by the Netherlands Royal Military Police, Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Water Management, and Coast Guard. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.