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Oil tanker caught dumping oily waste into New Jersey waters, hiding it

The chief engineer of a Greek oil tanker admitted on Tuesday to improperly dumping oil waste into the Arthur Kill in 2022:

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WOODBRIDGE, NJ — The chief engineer of a Greek oil tanker admitted Tuesday in Newark federal court to improperly dumping oil waste into the Arthur Kill near the Sewaren Oil Terminal, U.S. prosecutors said.

The illegal oil spill took place in September 2022, federal prosecutors said.

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He and a second engineer also admitted to trying to hide the illegal dumping by falsifying the ship’s records, said U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger and New Jersey Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim.

Konstantinos Atsalis, 57, is the chief engineer of the M/T Kriti Rubisa Greek tanker.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Prevention of Pollution from Ships Act, including falsifying the ship’s oil record. Sonny Bosito, 54, the second ship’s engineer, pleaded guilty to violating the law aimed at preventing pollution from ships.

On September 14, 2022, the Kriti Ruby was moored near the Sewaren terminal. Prosecutors say Atsalis ordered crew members in the lower level engine room to dump overboard the contents of the ship’s sewage holding tank, in which he knew oily mixtures from the hold had already been transferred.

Atsalis also admitted to ordering crew members to hide equipment used to carry out the spill before members of the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the vessel for inspection. He also falsified, or ordered others to falsify, the boat’s logs.

Here is the federal indictment against both men:

Atsalis faces six years in US prison and a fine, and will be sentenced in October.