Singapore: More charges against 9 men involved in multimillion-dollar Shell fuel heist

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

Nine Singaporeans, who were involved in the multimillion-dollar fuel oil heist at Shell's Pulau Bukom refinery, faced more charges on Monday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew told Channel NewsAsia that the men, who were taken to court on Jan 9, face one to two additional charges each. He added that they could face more charges as the investigations are still going on.

Reports said that at least three more instances of alleged fuel theft have come to light with the additional charges. Five Shell employees, including Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram, 36, Juandi Pungot, 41, Cai Zhi Zhong, 35, Tiah Kok Hwee, 41, and Koh Choon Wei, 35, were given two more charges. Thus, all of them face a total of four charges each now.

Last year on Nov 11, they allegedly stole 300 metric tonnes of fuel worth S$165,000 and again on Dec 31, they stole 1,706.9 metric tonnes of fuel worth S$592,295.

Meanwhile, three other Shell employees: Mohd Ibrahim K Abdul Majid, 52, Abdul Latif Ibrahim, 59, and Richard Goh Chee Keong, 48, now face two charges each. They allegedly stole 846.4 metric tonnes of fuel worth S$465,520 on Nov 14, 2017.

Muhammad Ali Muhammad Nor, who is the ninth suspect is not a Shell employee. The 51-year-old man is accused of involvement in the Dec 31 heist. It also allegedly involved Vietnamese national Doan Xuan Than, 45, who was charged last Saturday. Doan is the third Vietnamese national, who has been charged in connection with this case.

Dang Van Hanh, 37, and Nguyen Duc Quang, 46, the two other compatriots were first charged on Jan 9. They will again appear on court on Tuesday morning.

The Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department and the Police Coast Guard conducted a joint blitz and arrested 17 people, including those nine men. The authorities seized a total of S$3.05 million in cash and a 12,000-tonne tanker.

They have made at least three more arrests, out of which three men were charged on Saturday in connection with the scandal.

According to reports, all nine Singaporeans will next appear in court on Jan 22.

This article was first published on January 15, 2018