Greek shipping firm admits to pollution charges

A Greek shipping company has pleaded guilty in New Orleans in the southern United States to federal charges that crew members aboard one of its cargo ships covered up illegal discharges of oil waste.

The terms of the plea deal call for Ilios Shipping Company to pay a $2 million criminal penalty for violating a federal pollution law and obstruction of justice.

The company operated the Agios Emilianos, a 738-foot cargo ship that hauled grain from New Orleans to ports across the world.

Prosecutors say the vessel routinely discharged oily bilge waste and sludge into the sea, while crew members falsified records to conceal the pollution.

The ship’s master, Valentino Mislang, and chief engineer, Romulo Esperas, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. [AP]