Two Malaysian delivery drivers jailed over fuel thefts to save on allowance

SINGAPORE - Two Malaysian delivery drivers who repeatedly stole fuel from other vehicles to stint on their refuelling allowance were on Monday each sentenced to eight months in jail.

Seri Bala Murugan Krishnan, 43, and Jayashankar Subramaniam, 38, used hoses to siphon diesel fuel from other heavy vehicles into containers, and later into their prime movers.

The offences took place over slightly more than a month this year, between late August and early October. The charges faced by each of the men involved almost 3,000 litres of diesel fuel, worth some $4,000.

The court heard that the duo, who are friends, got the idea to "re-fuel for free" after delivery runs here from a person known as "Appu". Seri Bala and Jayashankar admitted to 14 and 13 offences respectively, most of which they had committed together. Their crimes came to light after Seri Bala was caught after trying to steal a jerry can with 18 litres of diesel from a prime mover along Chin Bee Drive.

For each charge of theft, they could have been jailed for up to three years and fined.