10 men arrested for illegal transaction of marine gasoil

The tugboat and cash amounting to $8,000 were seized. PHOTOS: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Ten men aged between 22 and 48 were arrested on Thursday (Aug 4) for their alleged involvement in an illegal transaction of marine gasoil, said the police.

In a joint operation with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday, officers from the Police Coast Guard (PCG) arrested six crew members of a Singapore-registered tugboat and four crew members of a foreign-registered tugboat in the sea off the Southern Tuas Basin.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the crew of the Singapore-registered tugboat may have stolen the marine gasoil from their company and were in the process of selling it to the crew on the foreign-registered tugboat, said the police.

The tugboat and cash amounting to $8,000 were seized.

The six crew members of the Singapore-registered boat will be charged in court on Friday with criminal breach of trust as servant.

If found guilty, they could be jailed for up to 15 years and fined.

The four crew members of the other tugboat will also be charged in court on Friday for dishonestly receiving stolen property.

If convicted, they could be jailed for up to five years, fined, or both.

The police said the PCG and MPA take a serious view of illegal transactions of marine gasoil in Singapore waters.

"The authorities will continue to conduct enforcement and security checks to prevent, deter and detect such illicit activities in Singapore waters," said the police.

In a case that has gone to court, bunkering firm Sentek Marine & Trading allegedly acquired some 118,131 tonnes of marine gasoil that had been stolen from Shell Eastern Petroleum's facility in Pulau Bukom between August 2014 and January 2018.

Former Sentek Marine managing director Pai Keng Pheng, 59, was on Wednesday handed new charges under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes  (Confiscation of Benefits) Act. He faces 83 charges in total.

He is accused of agreeing to Sentek Marine acquiring property believed to be the ill-gotten gains of criminal activity.

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