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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

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

ANSELMO CAPILLANES, age 46, a citizen of the Philippines, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine by U. S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, 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 excessive concentrations of oil 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.

On or about January 15, 2013, the M/T Stolt Facto entered the waters of the United States in the Eastern District of Louisiana with this inaccurate Oil Record Book onboard.  On or about that same date, the United States Coast Guard boarded the M/T Stolt Facto pursuant to their 89(a) authority and were presented with the false Oil Record Book.

"Falsifying records and by-passing mandatory pollution prevention equipment are serious offenses. Those who threaten the health of our marine environment must be held accountable. I applaud the professionalism and dedication of the members of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Department of Justice as they investigated and prosecuted this case," said Rear Admiral Kevin S. Cook, Eighth Coast Guard District Commander.

The case was investigated by the United States Coast Guard.  The case was prosecuted by Emily Greenfield.

Updated November 18, 2014