About 11 members from two tugboats, one a Singapore-registered ship, were reportedly sentenced to jail on 20 January for selling marine gas oil in the waters of western Singapore’s sea off Tuas. An estimated 4,208 litres valued at almost S$4,300 were sold illegally.
Court documents stated that plans for the illegal sale of marine gas oil were made on 21 December 2022, when both boats were berthed close to each other at the Inparco shipyard in Tuas.
Around 8 pm, Pareng, Banyu’s ship master, yelled at the crew members of PW Iota to ask if they had spare oil for sale.
The chief engineer of the other vessel, Yohanis, heard this and informed his shipmaster, Aswar, regarding such a request coming from Pareng.
Following discussions, Aswar decided to sell the excess 3,000 litres of marine gas oil on PW Iota at S$600 per metric ton.
Both parties agreed on executing the transfer at about 2 am on 22 December to prevent detection, as they knew there would be few individuals in the shipyard during that time. Aswar then informed the crew members regarding the agreed sale and that the proceeds would be equally divided among them.
Court documents highlighted that 11 individuals were aware that the sale of the oil was unlawful as it belonged to the Pacific Workboats. The firm later confirmed that it had not offered its approval for the sale.
Close to 2 am, Pareng from The Banyu reportedly signalled PW Iota to be prepared for the transfer before his crew members used ropes to fasten the two tugboats.
However, as the oil was being transferred via a fuel hose, they were reportedly spotted by some patrolling officers from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore close to 2.30 am. The officers on two tugboats and crew members disconnected the fuel hose hurriedly. This led to a minor oil spillage on PW Iota.
After the offences were discovered, Pacific Workboats conducted a sounding test of PW Iota’s fuel tanks, revealing that an estimated 4,208 litres of marine gas oil were transferred.
The missing oil was estimated to have a market value of approximately $4,292.16.
A worker who would be found guilty of committing a criminal breach of trust can be jailed for up to 15 years and fined.
Any individual guilty of receiving stolen property will be fined or jailed for up to five years.
References: Head Topics, Today Online