POSTED: 8:10 p.m. HST, Dec 6, 2011
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa >> A New Zealand-based company has been indicted for allegedly discharging oily waste from a fishing vessel that delivers tuna to a cannery in American Samoa.
The Justice Department said today a federal grand jury in Washington indicted Sanford Ltd. on seven counts including conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The indictment alleges the ship San Nikunau discharged oily bilge waste since at least 2007.
Sanford officials say they will vigorously defend the company against the charges.
Managing director Eric Barratt says Sanford takes its responsibilities to respect the ocean and its resources extremely seriously.
He says the company would never permit discharges of pollutants into the ocean and wouldn't obstruct any reasonable investigation into any allegations made against the company.