Oil Tanker Engineers Plead Guilty to Environmental Crimes Off New Jersey Coast

In a Federal Newark Court, two engineers admit to discharging oily waste into the ocean and falsifying records to conceal their actions.

NEWARK, N.J. — In a significant environmental violation case, two engineers from a Greek shipping company have admitted to illegal activities involving the discharge of oily waste into the ocean near Sewaren, New Jersey. The chief engineer, Konstantinos Atsalis, and the second engineer, Sonny Bosito, of the oil tanker M/T Kriti Ruby, faced charges in the U.S. District Court.

The admissions took place before U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, where Atsalis, 57, and Bosito, 54, pleaded guilty to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. These charges include the falsification of the vessel’s oil record book, a log that is regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Court documents and statements revealed that Atsalis directed the crew to bypass pollution prevention equipment and discharge oily waste directly from the engine room through the ship's sewage system into the sea. This act was concealed by failing to record it in the oil record book and hiding relevant equipment prior to inspections. Bosito similarly admitted to instructing crew members to hide equipment and to presenting a falsified oil record book during Coast Guard inspections.

The repercussions for these crimes are severe, with both engineers facing up to six years in prison and fines up to $250,000 or double the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for October 22, 2024.

The case was brought to light by the diligent efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, led by Acting Special Agent in Charge Steven M. Frith. The prosecution team includes Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen P. O’Leary, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine E. Ward, and Trial Attorney Lauren D. Steele, among others, highlighting the gravity of environmental protection enforcement.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified