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Oil tanker owner denies causing massive spill off Brazil's coast

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By Daniel Bellamy  with Reuters
Oil tanker owner denies causing massive spill off Brazil's coast
Copyright  رويترز

The owner of a tanker that Brazil accuses of causing a massive oil spill that has plagued its northeastern coastline since September has denied responsibility for it.

On Friday, Brazilian investigators said the Bouboulina carrying Venezuelan crude was the source of the spill.

Delta Tankers said the tanker left Venezuela in July bound for Malaysia and that the trip proceeded "uneventfully".

The Greek company said that video footage from onboard the ship showed no oil leak had occurred.

The prosecutors conducting the probe say they've found strong evidence that the company, the captain and the vessel’s crew failed to communicate to authorities about the oil spill.

The Brazilians said the tanker appears to have spilt the crude about 700 km off Brazil’s coast around July 28-29, after loading the oil in Venezuela.

The contradicting accounts have brought a dramatic twist into the causes of the mysterious oil spill that has stained tropical beaches along 2,500 km of Brazil’s coast.

On Saturday, Delta said the material obtained from an analysis of its security equipment will be shared with Brazilian authorities when they contact the company regarding the investigation, adding that no such contact has been made.

Brazil’s solicitor general has said he would seek damages in the case, which has hurt tourism and coastal fishing communities.