11 men charged over oil heist at Shell's biggest refinery in Singapore

Shell's company logo is pictured at a gas station. Reuters

A Singapore court charged 11 men in relation to their involvement in a large-scale oil theft at Shell's biggest refinery, Pulau Bukom.

Singapore police have arrested 17 men, aged between 30 and 63, for their suspected involvement in misappropriating fuel from Shell Bukom, it said in a press release on Monday.

Police said it had seized S$3.05 million in cash and the 12,000-dead weight-tonne tanker during raids.

The police said it has also initiated the freezing of the suspects' bank accounts to prevent dissipation of suspected criminal proceeds.

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The investigation began after Shell contacted the authorities in August 2017, police said in a news release.

There were three incidents of gasoil theft that occurred in November 2017, and on January 5 and January 7 this year, according to the court documents.

The theft resulted in about 4,384 metric tonnes of gasoil, valued at S$2.4 million, being stolen from Shell's refinery.

Nine Singaporeans were charged in the oil theft, of which eight were employees of the Singapore unit of Royal Dutch Shell, court documents showed.

The nine Singaporeans are: Abdul Latif Ibrahim, 59, Mohd Ibrahim K Abdul Majid, 52, Richard Goh Chee Keong, 48, Juandi Pungot, 41, Cai Zhi Zhong, 34, Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram, 36, Koh Choon Wei, 35, and Tiah Kok Hwee, 41.

Shell's oil refinery at Bukom island is its biggest and can process 500,000 barrels per day.

This article was first published on January 10, 2018