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Gas oil theft from Pulau Bukom refinery; ex-Shell officer jailed 29 years after masterminding S$129m gas oil theft from Pulau Bukom refinery


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Ex-Shell officer jailed 29 years after masterminding S$129m gas oil theft from Pulau Bukom refinery

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/29-years-jail-mastermind-fuel-theft-shell-bukom-1860351

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Juandi Pungot (left), a former Shell Eastern Petroleum employee, was jailed for his role in the misappropriation of marine gas oil from the firm's biggest regional refinery on Pulau Bukom (right).

Published March 31, 2022 Updated March 31, 2022

Juandi Pungot, 45, began a decade-long scheme with other Shell colleagues in 2007

It involved the siphoning of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of marine gas oil with two syndicates of Shell employees

They also bribed independent surveyors to turn a blind eye to their crimes

Juandi spent most of his ill-gotten gains on items such as luxury watches and vehicles, and properties here and abroad

SINGAPORE — A former Shell Eastern Petroleum employee was jailed for 29 years on Thursday (March 31) for his role in the largest misappropriation of marine gas oil from the firm's biggest regional refinery on Pulau Bukom.

Juandi Pungot, 45, and two colleagues are said to be the key planners of the scheme that began in 2007. It involved the siphoning of more than 300,000 tonnes of gas oil — a type of fuel used on ships and other vessels — worth at least S$200 million.

They then sold the gas oil to foreign vessels at prices lower than the prevailing estimated market value.

Juandi pleaded guilty in the High Court last month to 36 charges stemming from the misappropriation of S$127.7 million worth of marine gas oil.

The charges include corruption, laundering benefits from criminal conduct, and conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust as a servant.

He reaped at least S$5.6 million from his crimes, spending the majority of it on luxury watches and vehicles, Singapore and foreign properties including a condominium unit in Hougang, foreign exchange trading, gambling and investments.

Justice Hoo Sheau Peng, who described his offences as “exceptionally serious”, took into consideration another 49 charges for sentencing purposes.

The judge told the court that Juandi’s crimes “hit at the heart of the bunkering and petrochemical industry, which is a key component of Singapore’s economy” and that the “massive scale” of the theft, committed by two syndicates of Shell employees on Pulau Bukom, was “unprecedented”.

The police began investigating when a Shell representative filed a report in August 2017, saying that the firm had suffered a loss of fuel worth about S$2.98 million in April that year.

Shell operates a refinery on the island, its largest petrochemical production and export centre in the Asia-Pacific region.

Two other former Shell employees have been jailed for their roles in the scheme — Muhammad Ashraf Hamzah, 40, and Sadagopan Premnath, 41.

Juandi will begin serving his sentence on May 6 after asking for time with his family and to attend a medical appointment. He remains out on bail of S$550,000.

HOW THE SCHEME WORKED

Prosecutors previously told the court that the syndicate got away with the crimes for about a decade through various methods. This included timing the thefts with the legitimate loading of gas oil, deliberately distracting the supervisor and tampering with the orientation of closed-circuit television cameras.

The members coordinated their activities through chat groups on mobile phones, even though they were not allowed to use their phones while on duty.

Juandi and his colleague Abdul Latif Ibrahim allegedly first came up with the scheme in 2007. They then recruited another “key mastermind”, shore loading officer Muzaffar Ali Khan Muhamad Akram shortly afterwards.

These shore loading officers would usually be the ones in contact with a ship captain for the sale and purchase of misappropriated gas oil.

Juandi also rose to that position, drawing a salary of S$5,000 a month or S$6,000 with overtime.

The syndicate called the instances of misappropriation as an “illegal loading”. Its members started doing it with the Anic 1 bunker ship owned by Sentek Marine & Trading, with Juandi and Latif allegedly tampering with the bunker meter to remain undetected.

Between 2008 and mid-2013, they then expanded to various other bunker ships and recruited other colleagues including Ashraf.

At the time, Juandi received about S$10,000 to S$15,000 for each illegal loading.

In 2013, Juandi, Muzaffar, Ashraf and a fourth employee discovered that Latif was holding on to about half of their criminal profits before splitting the remainder with them. This led to a dispute.

Latif was the primary point of contact with bunker ships willing to take part in the scheme. The operations then took a pause when he left to join another team in Shell.

However, the syndicate resumed its activities in 2014 after finding other willing vessels with Vietnamese and Greek captains, and recruited other employees into the scheme.

Juandi and Muzaffar became the team leaders from mid-2014, prosecutors told the court.

The pair and another shore loading officer Koh Choon Wei allegedly directed and led the embezzlement. Among other things, the trio negotiated prices, decided how profits should be distributed within the syndicate and recruited their co-conspirators.

The vessels that bought their misappropriated gas oil were mainly those belonging to a company called Prime Shipping.

Juandi and Muzaffar also purportedly began bribing independent surveyors from Intertek Testing Services and SGS Testing & Control Services Singapore, so the surveyors would turn a blind eye to the siphoning of gas oil.

Court documents showed that Juandi conspired to give about S$270,000 in bribes — some deducted from the sale proceeds of the gas oil — to 13 surveyors between 2014 and 2017.

Juandi resigned from Shell in November 2017 after hearing rumours from a colleague about police investigations into the matter. But even after that, he continued to collect and distribute proceeds from the scheme.

Court documents showed that between June and December 2017, Juandi used his ill-gotten gains to make payments of S$123,000 for a Mercedes Benz GLC250. He also paid S$140,000 for a Toyota Harrier.

He, Muzaffar and Farhan then teamed up to set up and run a halal Japanese restaurant, The 3 Amigoes.

Shell began observing significant unidentified gas oil loss at Pulau Bukom in early 2015. After discovering the syndicate’s offences, they took various measures to improve its systems and processes, and has incurred about S$6 million in costs as of 2020.

Prosecutors sought one month shy of 30 years’ jail for him, while his lawyer Noor Marican asked for 15 years instead.

For each charge of criminal breach of trust as a servant, Juandi could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.

Those convicted of giving gratification under the Prevention of Corruption Act can be jailed for up to five years or fined up to S$100,000, or both.

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Supersonic
(edited)

They started stealing oil in 2007. Shell only realise the significant loss in 2015. 

How the audit writ off the losses all those years? This is what I asked my wife, she last time do audit but not at shell.

She said "evaporation and spillage". LoL...

So much oil gone missing, how not to notice? I believe the group is bigger than those being caught. The mastermind has to pay off those who know. Someone at the top must know. Those being caught are small fry.

Edited by Watwheels
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10 minutes ago, Tohto said:

Wow, 29 yrs jail. Even longer than some lape cases. 

petrol now expensive you know. You gotta pay for what you paid for. hahahahaha.

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Twincharged

Any remission? End of 29 years, he should be 74 years old, if he lives that long! His grand children would have gotten married and produced great grandchildren!☹️

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Hypersonic

Why he never change his name, do plastic surgery and run away with all the money?

:D

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Hypersonic

If you don't want to change your name, do plastic surgery and run away I know how to do to become invisible.

Go casino and lose 200,000 and then borrow money from your friends, family and colleagues and don't pay them back.

Then keep asking people for money and next time they see you they will siam you!

:D

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Hypersonic
2 hours ago, Fitvip said:

Any remission? End of 29 years, he should be 74 years old, if he lives that long! His grand children would have gotten married and produced great grandchildren!☹️

Unless an offender is on CT or PD, remission applicable to him. To serve 2/3 of the term. 

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Supersonic

@Jamesc not all the $129 million the duo pocketed……. Need to pay off the surveyors …… lotsa heads gonna roll on both sides and who knows even the ships captain too 

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Hypersonic
(edited)

That's a team effort.

They should promote him to management

Organisational skill, teamwork and cooperation, timing and coordinating everyone, reward and recognition, accounting and balancing the books.

So many managers cannot organise a piss up in a brewery.

This is true talent. I couldn't organise this.

:D

2 hours ago, BanCoe said:

@Jamesc not all the $129 million the duo pocketed……. Need to pay off the surveyors …… lotsa heads gonna roll on both sides and who knows even the ships captain too 

 

Edited by Jamesc
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