Case 3:03-cv-00409-DJS Document 73-6 Filed O9/26/2006 Page 1 of 3
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE W AT
MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2004 (202) 514-2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOV TDD (202) 514-1888
DUTCH SHIPPING COMPANY AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY IN
INTERNATIONAL PARCEL TANKER SHIPPING INVESTIGATION
C0mpany Agrees T 0 Pay $19.5 Million Criminal Fine
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Dutch-based Jo Tankers B.V. has agreed to plead guilty and
pay a $19.5 million criminal fine for participating in an international cartel to allocate customers,
rig bids, and fix prices on parcel tanker affreightment contracts for shipments of specialty liquids
to and from the United States and elsewhere, the Justice Department today announced. As a
result of the conspiracy, the Department said that consumers in the market for international
parcel tanker shipping services paid non-competitive and higher prices for parcel tanker
Jo Tankers, with its principal place of business in Spijkenisse, The Netherlands, was
charged in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. Jo Tankers, which has agreed to cooperate
with the ongoing investigation, will pay its $19.5 million fine over a five year period. The plea
agreement and recommended sentence are subject to court approval.
"This case demonstrates our ongoing commitment to prosecute companies that
participate in international cartels that victimize American businesses and consumers," said R.
Hewitt Pate, Assistant Attomey General in charge ofthe Department’s Antitrust Division.
Parcel tanker shipping is the transportation of bulk chemicals, edible oils, acids and other
specialty liquids by compartmentalized deep sea vessels. The temperature and other
specifications of the compartments in the vessels can be regulated according to the specific
Case 3:03-cv-00409-DJS Document 73-6 Filed O9/26/2006 Page 2 of 3
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requirements of the type of liquid being transported. A contract of affreightment provides for the
transportation of bulk liquids from one port to another and typically covers multiple shipments
during a certain period.
According to the charges, between the second half of 1998 and November 2002, Jo
Tankers participated with its co—conspirators in the parcel tanker shipping conspiracy which was
carried out by:
• engaging in meetings and discussions concerning customers and prices of
parcel tanker shipping of products to and from the United States and
• agreeing not to compete for one another’s customers either by not
submitting prices or bids to certain customers, or by submitting
intentionally high prices or bids to certain customers; and
• discussing and exchanging prices submitted to certain customers so as to
not undercut one another’s prices.
This case is a continuation of the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation
into anticompetitive practices in the parcel tanker shipping industry.
On January 7, 2004, Hendrikus van Westenbrugge, a former co—managing director of Jo
Tankers B.V., was sentenced to serve three months incarceration and pay a fine of $75,000 for
his role in the conspiracy.
On October 22, 2003, Odfjell Seachem AS, its Chairman, Bjorn Sjaastad, and a Vice
President, Erik Nilsen, pleaded guilty to charges of participating in the shipping cartel. Odfjell
was sentenced to pay a $42.5 million fine; Sjaastad was sentenced to serve four months
incarceration and pay a $250,000 fine; and Nilsen was sentenced to serve three months
incarceration and pay a $25,000 fine.
The maximum penalty for a corporation convicted of a violation of the Sherman Act is a
fine equal to the greatest of $10 million, twice the pecuniary gain derived from the crime, or
twice the pecuniary loss suffered by the victims of the crime.
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Today’s charge is the result of an investigation being conducted by the Antitrust
Division’s Philadelphia Field Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation in Philadelphia.
Anyone with further information about anti-competitive conduct in the parcel tanker shipping
industry should contact the Philadelphia Field Office at (215) 597-7405.