SINGAPORE: Nine Singaporeans and two Vietnamese men were charged on Tuesday (Jan 9) over their alleged involvement in stealing fuel from Shell's Pulau Bukom refinery.
According to court documents, there were three incidents of gasoil theft - in November 2017, and on Jan 5 and Jan 7 this year. About 4,384 metric tonnes of gasoil, valued at S$2.4 million, were stolen from Shell's biggest refinery.
The 11 suspects, aged between 30 and 63, were among 17 men arrested on Sunday in a joint operation by officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department and Police Coast Guard.
Cash totalling S$3.05 million and a tanker weighing 12,000 tonnes were seized.
Court documents state that 1,260 metric tonnes of fuel were transferred from Pulau Bukom to a Panama-registered tanker named Prime South. The tanker was due to head to Vietnam, according to vessel monitoring sites Vessel Finder and Marine Traffic.
The two Vietnamese men – Dang Van Hanh, 37, and Nguyen Duc Quang, 46 – were charged for allegedly receiving the 1,260 metric tonnes of stolen fuel worth S$687,960 on Jan 7.
They face up to five years’ jail and a fine if they are convicted.
The nine Singaporeans are:
Abdul Latif Ibrahim, 59, Mohd Ibrahim K Abdul Majid, 52, and Richard Goh Chee Keong, 48, who each face one count of criminal breach of trust for stealing fuel worth more than S$430,000 on Jan 5.
Juandi Pungot, 41, Cai Zhi Zhong, 34, Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram, 36, Koh Choon Wei, 35, and Tiah Kok Hwee, 41, who face two counts each for siphoning fuel on Nov 21 and Jan 7, with a combined worth of nearly S$2 million.
Muhammad Ali Muhammad Nor, 51, was allegedly only involved in the Jan 7 heist.
Of the nine, eight are current or former Shell employees, a spokesperson from Shell confirmed.
In court on Tuesday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew said an investigation is ongoing, and that the 11 may face more charges.
The Singaporeans will next be in court on Jan 15, while the Vietnamese nationals will appear on Jan 16.
The punishment for criminal breach of trust is up to 15 years’ jail and a fine.
Six more men arrested in the raid have not yet been charged.