Four new ships suspected of having spilled oil in Brazil

Greek vessels have been brought under scrutiny

Published in 06/11/2019 - 19:03 By Alex Rodrigues - Brasília

Another four Greek-flagged ships, besides already-cited Bouboulina, of Greek firm Delta Tankers, have been brought under scrutiny by the Brazilian Navy and the Federal Police attempting to identify the culprits of the oil spills, which have reached the coasts of all nine Northeastern states since late August.

The Navy declines to refuse the names of the five vessels, about which the Navy asked Greek maritime authorities for more information, but Delta Tankers, which controles Bouboulina, named them: Maran Apollo and Maran Libra (of Maran Tankers), Minerva Alexandra (of Minerva Marine) and Cap Pembroke (of Euronav), in addition to Bouboulina.


In the same note, Delta Tankers reports it was not notified by the Brazilian Navy until Tuesday (Nov. 5). The company says that, in the document, submitted by Greece’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the five Greek ships are being treated as suspects of leaking oil and tarring beaches, swamps, and river estuaries on the Brazilian coast.

Delta Tankers denies any connection with the oil found in the Brazilian coast and claims it can show evidence of legal activities. The firm agues it inspected the recorded footage from cameras and sensors inside Bouboulina and found no signs it was carrying the product that leaked.

“This material will be willingly shared with Brazilian authorities, if they get in contact with the company. Thus far, this contact has not been made,” Delta stated.

Thirty suspects

The Brazilian Navy told Agência Brasil that the request for the notification of the five Greek-flagged ships was submitted to Greek authorities on October 12. According to the Navy, the investigations, which are being conducted with the aid of the Federal Police as well as national and foreign institutions, found 30 tankers of several nationalities that navigated near the Brazilian coast when the incidents took place, in the region where the oil may have started to spread. This starting point is believed to be located somewhere 733 km east of Paraíba.

Of the 30 ships under suspicion, Bouboulina is named as the main suspect of the alleged oil leakage. Investigators say that, after carrying crude oil in Venezuela, the Greek vessel went around the Brazilian coast and proceeded to Singapore and Malaysia, where part of the material is believed to have been transferred to another ship.

Delta Tankers confirms that Bouboulina set off from Venezuela on July 19 carrying oil, and headed for Melaka, in Malaysia, where it discharged all the cargo “with no shortages.”

Also according to the Brazilian Navy, the investigators also considered the hypothesis that oil may have spilled from a dark ship—vessels with their tracking devices turned off—but satellite footage shows no sign thereof.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Nádia Franco / Augusto Queiroz

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