APL Settles on Alleged US False Claims Act Violations

Arizona-based ocean carrier APL Limited has agreed to pay the U.S. government USD 9.8 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act in connection with a contract to provide GPS tracking of shipping containers in Afghanistan, the U.S. Justice Department said.

The U.S. Department of Defense contract required APL, a wholly-owned American subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Limited, to affix a satellite tracking device to each shipping container transported from Karachi, Pakistan, to U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, when the Department of Defense (DOD) requested the tracking services.

The United States alleges that APL billed the DOD for tracking services despite knowing that the tracking devices completely or partially failed to transmit data, or were not affixed to shipping containers.

The U.S. government also claims that APL attached a single satellite tracking device to two shipping containers despite being required to affix one device to every container.

“Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to ensure that contractors doing business with the military perform their contracts honestly,” said Principal Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

The claims resolved by this civil settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability, the U.S. Justice department said.

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