Shell oil theft: Nine men face more charges

Nine of the 14 men who were charged last week in connection with the misappropriation of fuel from Shell were back in court yesterday to face more charges.

Each man faced one to two more charges, bringing the total of gas oil misappropriated to about 6,600 tonnes amounting to $3.6 million.

Except for Muhammad Ali Muhammad Nor, 51, a surveyor, the others - Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram, 37; Juandi Pungot, 41; Cai Zhi Zhong, 35; Tiah Kok Hwee, 41; Koh Choon Wei, 35; Mohd Ibrahim K. Abdul Majid, 52; Abdul Latif Ibrahim, 59; and Richard Goh Chee Keong, 48 - are either employees or former staff of Shell Eastern Petroleum.

All were represented by lawyers.

Muzaffar Ali Khan, Juandi, Cai, Tiah and Koh face two new charges each, while Muhammad Ali, Mohd Ibrahim, Abdul Latif and Goh face one fresh charge each.

Muzaffar Ali Khan, Juandi, Cai, Tiah and Koh allegedly abetted in a conspiracy to misappropriate 300 tonnes of gas oil worth $165,000 on Nov 11 last year, when the oil was entrusted to Juandi, Cai, Tiah and Koh.

Then on Dec 31 last year, they allegedly abetted in a scheme to misappropriate 1,076.9 tonnes of gas oil worth $592,295 belonging to Shell.

Muhammad Ali's new charge states that he abetted Muzaffar Ali Khan, Juandi, Tiah, Cai and Koh, and Vietnamese national Doan Xuan Than, 46, in a conspiracy to misappropriate 1,076.9 tonnes of gas oil worth $592,295 on Dec 31 last year. Than was not an employee of Shell.

As for Mohd Ibrahim, Abdul Latif and Goh, they are accused in the new charge of abetting in a conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust of 846.4 tonnes of gas oil on Nov 14 last year. The property was worth $465,520.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew sought a further week's remand for the nine, saying there are likely to be additional charges.

Lawyers for all nine were allowed to speak briefly to their clients, who appeared in court in red prison overalls, in the presence of a police officer.

They will be back in court next Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the case of two Vietnamese nationals Nguyen Duc Quang, 46, and Dang Van Hanh, 37 - accused of abetment by conspiracy to dishonestly receive about 1,260 tonnes of oil by transferring the fuel to a vessel - will be mentioned today.

Than and two others - Alan Tan Cheng Chuan, 45; and Ng Hock Teck, 54, who were charged last Saturday - will appear in court on Thursday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2018, with the headline 'Shell oil theft: Nine men face more charges'. Print Edition | Subscribe