🚢 Tanker discharged "oily waste" in NJ waters

🚢 Head engineers directed crew to do it

🚢 They admitted to hiding the illegal dumping

WOODBRIDGE — Two head engineers of an oil tanker flying under the flag of Greece have admitted to dumping oily waste into the waters off the New Jersey coast and trying to cover it up.

The Kriti Ruby, a 30,000-ton oil tanker owned by a Greek shipping company, discharged oily waste while near a petroleum terminal in Sewaren on Sept. 14, 2022.

It was no accident; the vessel's chief engineer Konstantinos Atsalis, 57, directed the crew to discharge the waste, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.

The tanker's second engineer Sonny Bosito, 54, also pleaded guilty to one count of the same crime.

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Sewaren (Canva)
Sewaren (Canva)

Atsalis pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to two counts of violating the act to prevent pollution from ships, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger said Tuesday. The chief engineer also admitted to falsifying the vessel's oil record book.

Federal prosecutors said that Atsalis directed the crew to bypass the vessel's engine room through its sewage system so they could discharge oily waste into the water.

He also admitted to telling crew members to hide the equipment they used to pull off the illegal dumping before the U.S. Coast Guard could do an inspection.

Bosito admitted to hiding the pollution by ensuring an altered oil record book was shown to the Coast Guard during its inspection.

Each count of violating the act to prevent pollution from ships carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Sentencing for Atsalis and Bosito is scheduled for Oct. 22.

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