News item nr. 1 January 2019
Million settlement for illegally demolishing ship in India
The Public Prosecution Service has arranged with a shipping company that illegally transported a ship to India in 2013 to have it demolished there.
January 17, 2019 at 7:28 PM
Rederij Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer II has to pay the State nearly three million euros because it illegally transfers a ship to India to have it scrapped there. That makes the Public Prosecutor (OM) known Thursday. Dumping of hazardous waste outside the European Union is prohibited. Ships that are demolished must be regarded as hazardous waste because they often contain substances such as lubricating oil and asbestos, the Public Prosecution Service writes.
The ship named HMS Laurence was brought to India in April 2013 from Italy. According to the Public Prosecution Service, YouTube films show that the ship deliberately ascended the beach of Alang in India on 26 May to be demolished there.
Holland Maas Scheepvaart Beheer pays 780,000 euros fine. In addition, the Public Prosecutor agreed to a settlement of 2.2 million euros, the amount that the ship owner earned with the dumping. The Public Prosecution Service agreed with this settlement because the company announced that it would take measures and had already offered to pay the maximum fine. The captain who brought the ship to India was punished by the Maritime Disciplinary Court. He was suspended conditionally for six months and was sentenced to a probationary period of two years. The Disciplinary Tribunal criticizes the captain for “making himself borrowed for deliberately allowing the ship to be stranded in India” while this is forbidden.
The Public Prosecutor is conducting several investigations into the ‘beaching’ of ships, as the illegal ship’s wreck is called. This takes place mainly in India and Bangladesh because the ships make the most money
there because of the high steel price and low labor costs. The Public Prosecutor calls the working conditions “harrowing” and says that there is “environmental damage to the environment and serious danger to the health of workers and the local population”. It is estimated that thousands of workers become incurably ill due to unprotected contact with toxic substances.
In March last year, a shipping company and its board members were convicted in the Netherlands for the illegal demolition of ships. Shipping company Seatrade Holding, five subsidiaries of the company and a director and board member of one of the subsidiaries were then convicted. They received fines and a professional ban.
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