Nine members of a criminal syndicate have been convicted for cheating buyers of marine fuel oil worth around $337,000.
A joint media statement by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Singapore Police Force (SPF) confirmed that the three masterminds and six cargo officers had plotted to use industrial strength magnets to tamper with the mass flow meter (MFM) equipment onboard bunker tankers, Southernpec 6 and Southernpec 7.
MPA has mandated the use of MFMs for the delivery of marine fuel oil to provide assurance to both buyers and suppliers on the delivered quantity of fuel and to enhance transparency in the bunkering process. But in this case, magnets caused the MFM to record a higher amount of fuel than what was actually delivered to the buyer’s vessel.
The conspiracy involved Success Energy, which started running bunkering operations for New Ocean Fuel in June 2018. The syndicate’s illegal operations were discovered during an enforcement check by MPA in April 2019. In May of the same year, MPA revoked the bunker craft operator and bunker supplier licenses of Southernpec (Singapore) Pte Ltd.
The tampering was conceptualised by the masterminds, Eric Ang Heng Lye (sentenced to 35 months in jail time), Jason Tay Tien Whui (34 months), and Dylan Kek Kah Hui (34 months) and carried out by the cargo officers on board, sentenced to between two weeks and 19 months’ imprisonment.