Panamanian company Styga Compania Naviera has pleaded guilty in a US federal court to deliberately concealing pollution discharges into the sea.

The company, an operator of the M/T Georgios M, failed to maintain the oil record book, required by federal and international law and pleaded guilty to three felony violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.

According to reports, the crew engineers knew that sludge and oily waste had been discharged directly into the ocean using the magic pipe.

The senior engineers also made false entries in the oil record book to conceal the fact that the pollution control equipment had not been used.

The operator has agreed to pay a $1m criminal fine along with a $250,000 community service payment to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

The money will be used for the protection and preservation of natural and cultural resources located in and adjacent to the sanctuary.