Nine jailed for tampering with equipment to cheat marine fuel oil buyers of $457,000

·Editorial Team
·2 min read
Singapore, Singapore: Transportation and Container ships wait on the ocean in front of the port of Singapore.
Transportation and container ships wait in front of the port of Singapore. (FILE PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Nine members of a criminal syndicate have been convicted for cheating buyers of marine fuel oil worth more than US$336,000 (S$457,000).

In a joint media release by the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Thursday (30 September), authorities said that the three masterminds and six cargo officers had conspired to use industrial-strength magnets to tamper with the mass flow meter (MFM) equipment on two bunker tankers, Southernpec 6 and Southernpec 7.

The use of MFMs had been mandated by MPA for the delivery of marine fuel oil, in a bid to provide assurance to both buyers and suppliers on the delivered quantity of marine fuel oil, as well as to enhance transparency in the bunkering process.

However, the magnets caused the MFM to record a higher amount of fuel than what was actually delivered to the buyer vessel. The fuel supplier then paid the masterminds a sum based on the fuel 'saved' from the use of the magnets. 

The tampering was conceptualised by the masterminds, and carried out by the cargo officers on board. The buyers were cheated of marine fuel oil worth a total of US$336,930.63.

INFOGRAPHIC: AGC
INFOGRAPHIC: AGC

The syndicate’s illegal operations were discovered during an enforcement check by MPA in April 2019. MPA also revoked the bunker craft operator and bunker supplier licence of Southernpec (Singapore) Pte Ltd with effect from 8 May 2019 and 29 May 2019 respectively.

The outcomes of the conviction are as follows:

  • Eric Ang Heng Lye (mastermind): sentenced to 35 months' jail on 21 June 2021

  • Jason Tay Tien Whui (mastermind): sentenced to 34 months and two weeks' jail on 4 August 2021

  • Dylan Kek Kah Hui (mastermind): sentenced to 34 months' jail on 26 June 2021

  • Ang Heng Chye (cargo officer): sentenced to 19 months' jail on 26 August 2020

  • Stanley Heng Meng Wee (cargo officer): sentenced to 18 months and two weeks' jail on 28 July 2021

  • Lionel Leong Wai Chew (cargo officer): sentenced to 13 months' jail on 27 July 2021

  • Andy Chua Yew Hui (cargo officer): sentenced to nine months' jail on 9 June 2020

  • Gab Chua Yan Jing (cargo officer): sentenced to seven months' jail on 30 September 2021

  • Kek Kah Hee (cargo officer): sentenced to two weeks' jail on 13 November 2020

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