Brazilian investigators said on Friday a Greek-flagged ship carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of oil tarring Brazil’s coastline over the past two months, but the firm running the ship said its voyage finished “uneventfully.”
A federal police document seen by Reuters said the tanker, Bouboulina, owned by Greece’s Delta Tankers Ltd, appears to have spilled the crude about 700 km (420 miles) off Brazil’s coast around July 28-29, after loading the oil at Venezuela’s Jose terminal.
Delta Tankers said the Bouboulina had left Venezuela on July 19 bound for Melaka, Malaysia, “where she discharged her entire cargo without any shortage.” In a statement, the company said the trip proceeded “uneventfully,” adding that it would cooperate with the probe, “if contacted.”
The contradicting accounts, along with the execution of police search warrants in Rio de Janeiro, brought a dramatic twist in the investigation of the mysterious oil spill that has stained tropical beaches along 2,500 km of Brazil’s coast.
Brazil’s solicitor general said the country would seek damages in the case, which has hurt tourism and fishing communities in the poorer northeast region.