FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
TIM BURGESS, US ATTY (907) 271-5071
GRAND JURY INDICTS SHIP CAPTAIN AND TWO CHIEF ENGINEERS
Indictments Charge Witness Tampering, Obstruction And False Records
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – A federal grand jury returned two indictments in the government's ongoing investigation of four foreign flagged freight ships that arrived in Dutch Harbor, Alaska in January of this year. Doo Hyun Kim, the Captain of the M/V Khana, and In Ho Kim, the Chief Engineer of the M/V Khana, are both charged with making false statements and using false records, obstructing a United States Coast Guard proceeding, and witness tampering for instructing crew members to lie about the discharge of oil and sludge overboard.
According to the indictment, the United States Coast Guard found an approximately 15- foot long section of plastic hose equipped with two flanges that appeared consistent with its use as a means of bypassing the vessel's Oil Water Separator to discharge oil contaminated bilge water and other oily waste directly overboard. The indictment further alleges that the Captain and Chief Engineer gave knowingly false explanations to the United States Coat Guard in an attempt to explain the oily hose, and failed to report discharges of oil in the ships required Oil Record Book. After grand jury subpoenas were issued to crew members, the indictment alleges that the Captain and Chief Engineer instructed crew members to lie to grand jury about the hose and the discharge of oil.
The second indictment charges Je Yong Lee, the Chief Engineer of the M/V Sohoh, with similar counts of using false records, obstructing a United States Coast Guard proceeding, and witness tampering. The United States Coast Guard found a similar oily section of hose on the M/V Sohoh consistent with bypassing the Oil Water Separator and the discharge of oil into the ocean. Both of these vessels are alleged to by operated by Oswego Limited, a Korean company.
Defendants Doo Hyun Kim and In Ho Kim were arraigned in federal court in Anchorage on Thursday. A jury trial has been set for May 13, 2002. Defenant Je Yong Lee is expected to be arraigned on Monday.
If convicted, the defendants could face up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 criminal fine (or up to twice the gross gain or loss from the crime) for the alleged false statements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1001, and obstruction of an agency proceeding, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1505. The alleged obstruction of justice by ordering subpoenaed crew members to testify falsely, known as "witness tampering," in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 1512 carries a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years.
This matter is being investigated by the United States Coast Guard Criminal Investigative Service, the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigations Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for Alaska and the Environmental Crimes Section of the United States Department of Justice.