Singapore Police Force has arrested a small tanker and a number of former Shell employees following reports of a suspected involvement in fuel theft from the company’s Pulau Bukom manufacturing site.
The police seized SGD 3.05 million (around USD 2.3 million) in cash and a tanker onto which the stolen fuel had been loaded. The ship is likely to be the 12,900 dwt Prime South.
Data from VesselsValue shows that the tanker, owned by Vietnam’s Prime Shipping Corporation, had been shipping fuel between Singapore and Vietnam in the fourth quarter of 2017.
During the operation, the police has arrested seventeen men, aged between 30 and 63, for their suspected involvement in the crime. Eleven of them were charged in court on January 9, 2018.
Shell confirmed that eight of the eleven charged men are “current or former” Shell Eastern Petroleum employees.
In August 2017, Shell reported the suspected theft to the country’s authorities. Following the report, the police conducted extensive investigations and probes.
On January 7, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department and Police Coast Guard conducted simultaneous raids islandwide, resulting in the arrests.
In addition, the police also initiated the freezing of the suspects’ bank accounts to prevent dissipation of criminal proceeds.
In a statement released earlies this week, Shell said its continues “to cooperate fully with the Singapore Police.”
“We cannot comment further as this is an ongoing investigation,” the company added.