SINGAPORE - Nine men have been arrested for the illegal transaction of four metric tonnes of marine gas oil with a market value of about $2,500 off Jurong Shipyard on Sunday (July 9), the police said in a statement on Monday.
The police received information about the illegal sale at the sea near Jurong Shipyard at about 4pm on Sunday.
Police Coast Guard officers followed the lead and investigated a Singapore-registered tugboat with four crew members on board.
They found that the crew had sold four metric tonnes of marine gas oil to the crew of a foreign-registered tugboat without the knowledge of their company.
On top of this, cash amounting to $2,200, believed to be part of the transaction, was recovered. The cash was seized for investigations, and the Police Coast Guard later tracked down the foreign-registered tugboat and detained the five crew members on board.
As they could not provide a satisfactory account of the excess marine gas oil found on their tugboat, the coast guard seized the tugboat and arrested the five men.
The nine men were aged between 29 and 51. Eight of them will be charged for the offence of a criminal breach of trust as servants. Investigations against the last man are still ongoing.
Commander of the Police Coast Guard, senior assistant commissioner of police Hsu Sin Yun commended his officers for their "excellent work which resulted in the swift arrest".
He also warned that illegal transaction of marine gas oil inside Singapore waters is a serious offence.
"The Police Coast Guard will take strict enforcement actions against such offenders," said the police.