Rs 12 mn fine imposed on ‘MT New Diamond’ Captain | Daily News

Rs 12 mn fine imposed on ‘MT New Diamond’ Captain

The Captain of the ‘MT New Diamond’ oil tanker was yesterday ordered to pay a fine of Rs.12 million by the Colombo High Court.

When the case was taken up before the Colombo High Court Judge Dammika Ganepola, the Greek captain of the vessel pleaded guilty for the charges.

Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris appearing on behalf of the Attorney General sought an order from the Court for compensation of Rs.200 million in connection with the fire that broke out on the vessel.

However, considering the facts, Colombo High Court Judge imposed a fine of Rs.12 million on the captain of the vessel and ordered that the accused be released after paying the fine.

The Attorney General had filed an indictment in the Colombo High Court against the ‘MT New Diamond’ Captain on two charges of marine pollution caused by the oil spill from the vessel and the failure to report in violation of Section 26 and 38 of the Marine Pollution Prevention Act, No 35 of 2008.

According to these Sections of the Act, if a person is found guilty for an offence, the suspect will be liable on conviction to a fine not less than four million rupees and not exceeding fifteen million rupees.

The 20-year-old MT New Diamond crude oil tanker was transporting 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip when a fire broke out on broad in the eastern seas off Sri Lankan on September 3.

The vessel was sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point when it caught fire after an explosion in a boiler in the ship’s main engine room.

A joint effort by the Sri Lankan Navy, Air Force and Indian Navy succeeded in extinguishing the fire.

Following that, the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) had sought the Attorney General’s advice on taking legal action under the Marine Pollution Prevention Act in connection with the marine pollution caused by the oil spill from the vessel. The Marine Environment Protection Authority was informed by the Attorney General to go to the location of the vessel and investigate whether the oil spill from the vessel had caused marine pollution in the area. According to the evidence and observations submitted by MEPA, the Attorney General maintains that it was clear that the oil spill was from the vessel.