( dpa ) - Eight Filipino seamen have received 730,000 dollars in cash rewards for helping the United States prosecute the owners and officers of two ships that dumped sludge oil and contaminated waste water in US waters, the US Embassy said Saturday.
The money was handed over to the eight Filipinos, whose identities have been kept confidential, during a ceremony at the US Embassy in Manila on Friday.
In a statement, the US Embassy said the Filipino seamen had reported to US authorities the discharge of pollutants from two merchant vessels in ocean waters off Puerto Rico and Florida in 2006.
The seamen testified on behalf of the US government at grand jury proceedings against the owners and officers of the two ships, who eventually pleaded guilty.
The embassy said the US District Courts in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Jacksonville, Florida authorized the cash rewards under a US government programme to reward persons who help in the prosecution of environmental law violators.