Delta tankers says Brazil has not not contacted them over oil leak

A red containment boom holds back an oil spill in Atalaia Aracaju

Brazil oil spill: Greek-flagged tanker believed to be source

"The Greek-flagged ship is initially linked to a Greek company, but there is still no data on who owned the oil being shipped, which means that investigations must continue", the federal police said in a statement.

The Federal Police of Brazil Friday announced the launch of Operation Taint to investigate a Greek-flagged ship suspected of spilling oil along the country's northeast coast.

At the same time, the company noted that "Bouboulina" "departed from Venezuela, full cargo, on July 19, 2019 and headed for the port of Melaka in Malaysia".

In early September, environmental agencies in Brazil began noticing crude oil washing up on more than 100 beaches in nine northeastern states, from Maranhao in the north down to Bahia.

"Delta Tankers Ltd, managing company of the Greek tanker "Bouboulina" clarifies that no Brazilian public authority has ever contacted either the company itself or the specific ship, as part of an ongoing investigation into the oil spill that appeared on the Brazilian coast at the end of summer", said Delta Tankers. They said neither company was suspected of criminal activity, but said they both had business relations with the "Greek firm, quot; in question".

The defence ministry said a search warrant for the ship had been issued, as the attorney general's office said the damage to Brazil's coasts was "immeasurable".

The Lachmann shipping agency did not respond to a request for comment.

Federal police raided offices linked to the ship in Rio De Janiero and were seeking cooperation from worldwide agencies, including Interpol, to further investigate the ship, its crew, and the company.

The ship was loaded with oil at Venezuela's terminal San Jose, the Brazilian Navy said separately.

Prosecutors did not give details on when the alleged detention occurred in the United States, and Reuters could not verify the account. Thousands of volunteers have mobilized to clean beaches with the tourist high season approaching rapidly.

Brazil has so far collected some 2,000 tonnes of sludge from its beaches in continuing cleanup efforts, while working to rehabilitate birds and sea turtles coated in the thick crude.

Slow and remote clean-up efforts, along with weeks of confusion over the cause of the spill, have spurred criticism of the government's response.

Local authorities have said Brazil is following standard protocols since the start of the disaster.

Because the heavy crude does not float on the ocean surface like most oil slicks, officials said traditional methods of tracking it and keeping it off the shore have been ineffective.

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