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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Engineer From M/t Stolt Facto, Anselmo Capillanes, Pleads Guilty To Violating Act To Prevent Pollution From Ships

ANSELMO CAPILLANES, age 48, a citizen of the Phillipines, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey to a one-count bill of information for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, Title 33, United States Code, Section 1908, announced U. S. Attorney Dana J. Boente today.

According to the court documents, CAPILLANES served as the Second Engineer of the M/T Stolt Facto, a 26,328 gross ton oil tanker,from September 22, 2012 until on or about January 16, 2013.  CAPILLANES was responsible for the operation of the Oil Water Separator onboard the vessel.  The Oil Water Separator is the principal technology utilized to detect and prevent concentrations of oil in excess of 15 ppm in the vessel’s bilge water from being discharged overboard. 

Starting in October 2012, CAPILLANES directed members of the engine room crew to connect hoses from the bilge wells and bilge holding tank located on the lower deck of the engine room and pump the contents of those tanks into the sewage holding tank on the uppermost deck of the engine room.  By transferring the contents of the bilge wells to the sewage holding tank the oily water by-passed the Oil Water Separator and was then discharged from the sewage holding tank into the ocean. 

These transfers and discharges were not recorded in the M/T Stolt Facto’s Oil Record Book.  The Oil Record Book entries indicated that the Oil Water Separator had been used. In court documents associated with his guilty plea, CAPILLANES admitted he ran fresh water or sea water through the Oil Water Separator so that he could get readings from the White Box, the data recorder on the Oil Water Separator, making it appear that the Oil Water Separator was used in a manner consistent with the statements in the Oil Record Book to conceal that not all of the ship’s oily waste water was properly treated before being dumped overboard.

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