Oil-dumping freighter captain sentenced to jail

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The captain of a freighter who helped cover up evidence of oil dumping from his ship was sentenced to three months in jail and two years of supervised release.

In sentencing Doo Hyun Kim Thursday, U.S. District Judge Russel Holland said Kim abused his power and, for that, he deserves jail time.

Kim, 65, pleaded guilty to the charge in June.

''I'll make sure nothing like this will happen again,'' Kim told Holland.

Kim was captain of the M/V Khana when the U.S. Coast Guard found problems as it inspected the freighter in February while it was docked at Dutch Harbor.

The Khana dumped at least 1,000 gallons of oil sludge at sea over a two-month period, often in the middle of the night, said assistant U.S. attorney Kevin Feldis.

Kim is the last of three ship officers recently sentenced for their roles in dumping oily waste at sea, prosecutors said. The Coast Guard is investigating activity on their vessels and two others. The four vessels, which ship frozen seafood between Asia and Alaska, carry the Panamanian flag and are under common management.

During a standard inspection in February in Dutch Harbor, the Coast Guard discovered the freighters were bypassing oily water separators to dump oil waste at sea, court documents said. The pollution prevention devices separate oil from water, producing water clean enough by government standards to discharge from the vessels.

Kim and In Ho Kim, his chief engineer on the M/V Khana, and Je Yong Lee, another chief engineer, tried to hide the discharges by telling crew members to lie, court papers said. The three men pleaded guilty.

Based on information from the three men, an investigation into the companies that manage the freighters is ongoing, Feldis said.

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