A Singaporean court on Saturday charged three men suspected of involvement in large-scale oil theft at Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s biggest refinery, days after bringing charges against 11 under an extensive probe by authorities in the city-state.
The Singaporean subsidiary of Shell first contacted the city-state’s authorities in August last year about theft at its Pulau Bukom industrial site, just south of the main island.
Police have seized millions of dollars in cash and a small tanker in a sting operation involving simultaneous raids across Singapore.
A Singaporean court on Tuesday charged 11 men related to the theft, including eight Shell employees and two Vietnamese nationals, following a weekend raid arresting 17 people.
The latest three to be charged also included a Vietnamese national. They are accused of receiving stolen property with a combined value of S$896,444 (US$676,358) at the Pulau Bukom site, where Shell has its largest refinery, court documents said.
The oil products involved in the theft during two days late last year were in addition to more than 4,300 tonnes of gasoil valued at S$2.4 million specified in charges brought against the 11 on Tuesday.
A Shell spokeswoman said the men charged on Saturday were not employees of the company.
The court documents listed two vessels used in the transfer of stolen oil products on Nov. 11 and Dec. 31 at two wharfs on the Pulau Bukom site.
The Sentek 26, which carries a Singapore flag, and the MT Gaea had been traveling around the city-state over the last 30 days, both making one journey late last month down to the Indonesian island of Batam, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Sentek Marine & Trading Pte, manager of the Sentek 26, was the biggest bunker fuel supplier in Singapore by volume last year, official data showed.
Singapore is one of the world’s most important oil trading hubs, with much of the Middle East’s crude oil passing through before being delivered to huge consumers in China, Japan and South Korea.
Singapore is also Southeast Asia’s main refinery hub and the world’s biggest marine refueling stop.
Illicit oil trading is widespread in Southeast Asia where stolen fuel is sold across the region, frequently by being offloaded directly into trucks or tanks at small harbors away from oil terminals.
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