Norwegian ship lands in Victoria court for illicit offshore dumping

A Norwegian tanker ship is feeling the long, albeit slow arm of Canadian law for alleged illegal dumping in the Pacific Ocean two years ago.

A Norwegian tanker ship has been snared in the long, albeit slow arm of Canadian law for alleged illegal dumping in the Pacific Ocean more than two years ago.

The M/T Champion, a ship belonging to Champion Tankers A/S out of Bergen, Norway, and an individual named Robert Ruzic, didn’t appear in Victoria provincial court yesterday, despite being scheduled for a first appearance on four charges related to illegal dumping at sea.

Ruzic, the ship, Champion Tankers and its parent company, Champion Shipping A/S, face two charges of improper disposal of a substance at sea, and two charges of improper deposit of substances harmful to migratory birds.

The ship allegedly dumped fish oil and an unidentified “oily substance” about 135 miles west of Vancouver Island, in waters frequented by migratory birds, and within the exclusive economic zone of Canada, according to court documents.

The charge document doesn’t indicate how much liquid the ship is accused of dumping. All charges are dated July 29, 2010, and were sworn by federal Crown in July this year.

Agent for the federal Crown Rick Fowler told the court the case was “unusual” and that the ship probably never landed in Canada. He noted it wasn’t surprising that representation for the accused didn’t appear in court and said “discussions are ongoing” between the federal Crown and counsel for Champion Tankers.

The Canadian Coast Guard, which would have likely recorded the alleged offenses, and Environment Canada, the agency that investigated the case and forwarded its evidence to the Crown, haven’t responded to requests for more information.

Champion Tankers website said the company has 11 tanker vessels and transports vegetable oils, palm oils, molasses and clean petroleum products.

The case is due back in Victoria provincial court on Oct. 11 for a plea hearing.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Rolling the dice on the patina of old copper

At the Galleries: Summer days continue

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read