Brazil Investigates a Greek Ship with Venezuelan Oil
Brazilian investigators said a Greek-flagged tanker carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of oil impugning Brazil’s coastline over the past two months. Still, the company managing the ship says its voyage concluded “uneventfully.”
A federal police document said the tanker, Bouboulina appears to have spilled the crude about 700km off Brazil’s coast. This is after loading the oil at Venezuela’s Jose terminal.
Delta Tankers said the ship left Venezuela on July 19, bound for Melaka, Malaysia. In a statement, the company said Bouboulina discharged her entire cargo without any shortage. In addition, the firm said they would cooperate with a probe if contacted.
The contravening accounts, along with the deliberation of police search warrants in Rio de Janeiro, brought a dramatic scene in the investigation of the mystery oil spill. The spill sustained tropical beaches along 2,500 km of Brazil coast.
Brazil solicitor general said the country would seek damages in the case. Also, it hurt tourism and fishing communities in the more impoverished northeast region.
A Brazilian prosecutor said there is strong evidence that the firm, the captain, and the vessel’s crew failed to communicate to authorities. It is about the oil spill/release of crude oil in the Atlantic Ocean.
According to a search warrant document, Federal police also transported searches in Rio de Janeiro. It addresses the maritime service firms Lachmann and Witt O’Brien’s.
The police confirmed that they raided two companies, without naming them. Also, they said neither firm is suspected of criminal activity but said both had commercial involvement with the “Greek firm” in question.
Witt O’Brien said the ship and operator on the investigation had never been its clients in Brazil. Also, the activities of its Brazil office were unrelated to any contract that could be appropriate to the police questions.
Brazilian Authorities on the Oil Spill Investigation
Brazilian authorities said they were looking for cooperation from international agencies, including Interpol. This is to further investigate the ship, its crew, and the firm.
Federal investigators said Brazil’s navy also had information regarding prior detention of the vessel in the U.S. for four days. Also, this is due to wrong operating procedures linked to the segregation of oil and water.
Prosecutors did not give further details for when the asserted U.S. detention occurred.
The police said oceanographic, and geolocation data present that the Greek ship was the only one navigating near the spill.
Moreover, from late August to the end of October, the oil washed toward in nine states, according to federal police. Also, it closed hundreds of beaches and killed numbers of animals. Volunteers try to clean up the crude without proper equipment have also fallen sick.
Brazil has so far collected some 2,000 tons of sludge from its beaches in continuing cleanup efforts. Also, Brazil works to rehabilitate birds and sea turtles coated in the thick crude.
The slow and mixture cleanup efforts, along with weeks of confusion about the cause of the spill, prompted criticism of the government’s response. Besides, officials said Brazil is following standard protocols.
Since the heavy crude does not float on the ocean surface like most oil slicks, traditional methods of tracking it have been ineffective. Also, they are keeping it off the shore.