NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An oil tanker's chief engineer has admitted telling other crew members to lie to Coast Guard investigators in a pollution probe.
Fifty-seven-year-old Inigo Albina, of the Philippines, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine following his guilty plea Wednesday in New Orleans to obstruction of justice.
He was responsible for the engine room of a tanker that was boarded by the Coast Guard near New Orleans in January.
Federal prosecutors say Albina told crew members to deny knowing that hoses and pumps were used to bypass the vessel's oil water separator. He also allegedly signed records that said the tanker's bilge water had passed through the equipment before being discharged overboard.
Prosecutors said it was instead pumped into a sewage holding tank, then into the ocean.