In the news for all the wrong reasons again

Sanford fishing company has again been charged with oil pollution charges, this time in New Zealand waters. Once again Peter Goodfellow is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Sanford has been convicted before for pollution, covering it up, and for using low paid foreign workers that is usually described as slave labour by less delicate commentators.

Fishing company Sanford Ltd has been charged with dumping oil at sea, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says.

The allegations relate to a chartered South Korean-flagged vessel, Pacinui, and are based on evidence offered by Indonesian crew who jumped ship in January alleging maltreatment.

Sanford, an Auckland public company whose major shareholders include National Party president Peter Goodfellow, could face a fine of up to $400,000. 

In January a US District Court in Washington DC fined Sanford US$ 1.9 million (NZ$2.27m) for dumping oil waste at sea in American Samoa then attempting to cover up its actions.

MNZ said Sanford will face three charges after an investigation into alleged illegal dumping of oil into the sea of New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone.

Sanford is charged with illegal discharge of a harmful substance – oil – from Pacinui, failing to notify MNZ of the discharge and failure to notify a pollution incident.

The discharge of a harmful substance charge carries a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment or a fine of $200,000.

The two other charges each carry a maximum fine of $100,000, and for a continuing offence, a further fine not exceeding $20,000 per day or part day when the offence is committed.

I wonder if they will try to cover it up like the last time? Or whether or not it will affect their US probation?

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington yesterday also put the Auckland-based company on probation for three years. Sanford was ordered to pay $500,000 in community service to the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation that will benefit Fagatele Bay in America Samoa, according to the Justice Department.

“Today’s sentence sends a clear message to owners and operators of commercial vessels who illegally dump oily waste and try to cover it up,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “We are committed to protecting our precious natural resources and will punish companies and individuals who ignore their obligations to our planet and future generations.”

Sanford was convicted in August of conspiracy, presenting false documents and deceiving the U.S. Coast Guard, according to a court filing. The company was acquitted of obstructing justice.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.