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Maritime whistle-blowers to split $375,000

Two seamen will split a $375,000 reward for blowing the whistle on a Swedish shipping company that illegally dumped oil contaminated waste into international waters off the coast of New Jersey.

Two seamen will split a $375,000 reward for blowing the whistle on a Swedish shipping company that illegally dumped oil contaminated waste into international waters off the coast of New Jersey.

The whistle-blowers were crew members aboard the M/V Snow Flower, a 568-foot refigerated ship operated by Holy House Shipping of Stockholm.

Coast Guard inspectors in Gloucester City boarded the Snow Flower in Feb. 2008 and discovered discrepencies in the vessel's Oil Record Book. They also located a "magic pipe" that was used to secretly discharge oily waste into the oceans.

A federal judge in Camden yesterday fined Holy House $1 million and ordered it to pay an additional $400,000 community service fee that will go to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to protect marine habitats in New Jersey.

U.S. District Court Judge Jerome B. Simandle also approved a government motion to award $375,000 of the fine to the whistle-blowers for risking their careers by tipping off the Coast Guard to the crime.