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Five face three-year jail terms for Korea's worst ever oil spill

Five face three-year jail terms for Korea's worst ever oil spill

Seoul: Prosecutors are pushing for up to three-year jail terms for up to five men involved in the nation's worst ever oil spill. While also aiming to fine both Samsung Heavy Industries, the owner of a barge, and Hebei Ocean Shipping Co, the owner of the single VLCC, Hebei Spirit, that collided with the barge, just shy of US$30,000 each the jail terms are severe. Three crew members of the barge and two Indian seafarers onboard the tanker have been reprimanded.
The Samsung Heavy barge slammed into the Hong Kong-registered tanker Hebei Spirit on December 7, releasing 78,920 barrels of oil into South Korea's western coastal waters. The spill jeopardized the ecosystem and the livelihood of residents in the area, home to some of the country's most scenic beaches.
In South Korea, the maximum penalty for violating the ocean pollution law is three years in prison.
At Wednesday's hearing, the prosecution called for the law to be revised to increase the maximum penalty for those involved in ocean pollution cases. A local court will issue a verdict on the case next week. [19/6/08]

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