The U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of New Jersey Thursday announced that two senior engineering officers of oil tanker M/T Cielo di Milano have pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to charges related to concealing the intentional dumping of oily waste from the vessel at sea.
Girolamo Curatolo, the vessel's chief engineer, is noted to have pled guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, while Danilo Maimone, the ship's first assistant engineer, pleaded guilty to conspiring to obstruct justice.
The vessel, which is owned by D'Amico Shipping Italia S.p.A. (D'Amico Shipping) and managed by D'Amico Societa di Navigazione S.p.A. (D'Amico Societa di Navigazione), is said to have visited ports of New Jersey numerous times, as well as ports in both Maryland and Florida.
Curatolo admitted that the vessel's crew had bypassed pollution prevention equipment on purpose, discharging oily waste from the engine room into the water through the tanker's sewage system, and that he had then falsified the vessel's Oil Record Book to cover it.
Curatolo also admitted to making false statements during an inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in January 2015, instructing lower-level crew members to make false statements, and destroying the ship's sounding log, burning ripped pages from the log in the vessel's boiler as the USCG boarded the vessel for inspection.
Maimone admitted to concealing the discharge of oily waste, causing a false Oil Record Book to be presented to the USCG during inspection, making false statements, and instructing lower-level crew members to make false statements.
Curatolo and Maimone are set to be sentenced on November 21, 2016, and face a maximum penalty of five years in prison, as well as a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the offenses to which they pleaded guilty.
In April, d'Amico Società di Navigazione announced it has been awarded the "Green Shipowner of the Year" for 2016 at the Green Ship Technology Conference for its efforts, including a "considerable reduction" in bunker consumption and associated emissions.