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Much has been made in recent years of the US authorities' aggressive approach to prosecuting so called magic pipe cases against crew members. Many in the industry have been critical of the procedure, by which whistleblowers are used to gain a conviction.

In the case of Ioannis Mylonakis, the boot is on the other foot however. The chief engineer of the Giorgios M was acquitted of any involvement in a magic pipe incident and is now suing the owners of the vessel Styga Compania Naviera and the company's principals, members of the Mamidakis family. The company itself pleaded guilty to an infringement, and Mylonakis is seeking close to $23m in compensation. The case is being handled by Chalos & Co, which has defended many seafarers in magic pipe cases. According to George Chalos, he hopes the case will serve to deter companies in the future from trying to put the blame on the "little guy"…

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