HK marine chief facing US charges goes on run

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 May, 2011, 12:00am


A marine superintendent working for a Hong Kong ship management company has gone on the run after being charged with four pollution-related offences in the United States.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Prem Kumar - whose full name is Premakumaran Krishnan - was added to its fugitive list after failing to surrender on charges of obstruction, conspiracy to obstruct and making false statements.

The Indian passport holder, 43, (pictured) worked for Wan Chai-based Fleet Management and was responsible for ensuring ships managed by the company complied with the US pollution prevention act.

Fleet managing director Kishore Rajvanshy said: 'Fleet resolved their own position with the US authorities a number of months ago.

'As regards Prem Kumar, Fleet are co-operating fully with the US authorities. Kumar is receiving separate legal advice and as such we make no further comment.'

Kumar was arrested and charged with Fleet Management after a US Coast Guard inspection of the dry cargo bulk ship Lowlands Sumida in October 2009.

During the search, a crew member told officials the ship had been illegally discharging oily wastewater directly into the ocean.

A probe by the Coast Guard, EPA and other agencies found the ship's oil record book had been falsified.

Both Kumar and Fleet Management were charged by a federal grand jury in April last year.

Fleet Management was fined US$3 million and faced other penalties after pleading guilty at a court hearing in Texas last September.

Kumar disappeared after failing to surrender to federal law enforcement authorities and could face up to a maximum of 25 years in jail.

He joins another 16 fugitives on the EPA's 'most wanted' list.