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Shell MGO bunker heist: Chemical oil tanker “M/T Prime South” forfeited by State Courts of Singapore

Pai Kheng Pheng of Sentek Marine & Trading Pte Ltd on Thursday (8 October) was ordered remanded for a further week for investigations, AGC spokesperson informs Manifold Times.

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The chemical oil tanker M/T Prime South, which was seized on 8 January 2018 due to its involvement in the Shell MGO heist, has been forfeited by the State Courts of Singapore on Friday (9 October), learned Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

Principal District Judge (PDJ) Ong Hian Sun deem the forfeiture of M/T Prime South to the state appropriate under section 364(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), according to documents provided by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

The learned PDJ found Prime Shipping Corporation, a Vietnamese company that is the registered owner of M/T Prime South, to be complicit in the misappropriation of gasoil from Shell Pulau Bukom through the acts of Tran Quan Tuan, its former Chairman, Tran faces 22 charges for abetting the dishonest receipt of stolen gasoil and currently remains at large.

A factor which weighed heavily in favour of forfeiture was M/T Prime South being extensively used to receive misappropriated gasoil from Shell Pulau Bukom.

PDJ Ong also found forfeiture to be appropriate due to the gravity of the serious offences that were committed using M/T Prime South, given the sheer quantum and value of gasoil misappropriated.

In total, Shell lost an estimated SGD 198 million over a span of three years; investigations found two teams of Shell employees, namely team ‘A’ and ‘D’ respectively misappropriating an estimated SGD 128 million and SGD 70 million in gasoil between at least 2014 and 2018.

To date, probes revealed all eight vessels owned or operated by Prime Shipping Corporation had stopped at Shell Pulau Bukom between 2016 and 2018 to receive stolen gasoil totalling an estimated USD 33 million.

Over USD 7 million was received by M/T Prime South; the remaining seven vessels include M/T Prime South, M/T Prime Splendour, M/T Gaea and M/T Prime Sun.

Forfeiture, as such, will also deter Prime Shipping Corporation from using or allowing its other vessels to be used for offences at the bunkering port of Singapore.

M/T Prime South is valued at about USD 4.5million (or USD 3 million at forced sale).

Relation of case to Sentek Marine & Trading

The above development is related to a recent charge faced by the Founder of Singapore bunker supplier Sentek Marine & Trading, Pai Keng Pheng, according to an AGC spokesperson.

“This is related to the Pai Keng Pheng / Sentek arrest and charging, as both arise from the Shell Bukom case, although Sentek has nothing to do with this ship, which is owned by the Vietnamese company Prime Shipping,” a spokesperson told Manifold Times on Friday (9 October).

“Our case is that Prime Shipping and Sentek were companies that separately bought the misappropriated fuel from the rogue Shell Bukom employees. PKP was ordered to be remanded for a further week for investigations yesterday [8 October].”

Legal commentary on forfeiture by Helmsmen LLC

The forfeiture of a ship relates to the confiscation of property used to commit an offence. Singapore judges have discretion under the Criminal Procedure Code (section 364(2)) to make an order forfeiting property to the state.  A forfeiture order may be made either during or after the conclusion of criminal proceedings, according to Maureen Poh, Director of international shipping and commodity law firm Helmsman LLC.

The purposes of a forfeiture order are: (a) a form of punishment; (b) a deterrent to future crimes; (c) a way to prevent crime by removing the means that facilitated its commission; and (d) to ensure that the defendant cannot benefit from the proceedings of his crime.  Singapore’s Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act is another way in which the proceedings of criminal acts may be forfeited by the state.

Forfeiture of a ship is a rather uncommon measure meted out by the courts.  The state must prove the connection between the property and the defendant's criminal conduct.  Third party interests in the ship might also play a role, for example, where the bank has a mortgage over the ship.

Earlier coverage of developments regarding the Shell MGO bunker heist can be found below:

Related: Shell MGO bunker heist: Founder of Sentek face charge at State Courts of Singapore
Related: Singapore: Shell MGO bunker heist amount balloons to USD$142 million
RelatedShell MGO bunker heist update: Fresh charges issued at Singapore court
RelatedShell Singapore oil heist: More charges issued at court
RelatedShell Singapore oil heist: Nine charged offered bail
RelatedSingapore bunker employee faces additional charges
RelatedIntertek Singapore employee among Shell oil heist suspects
RelatedShell Singapore oil heist update: More individuals charged
RelatedShell Singapore oil heist: Shipowner should have conducted a charterer check
RelatedFuel syndicate busted at Singapore Shell Bukom
RelatedShell Singapore oil heist: Breakdown of stolen oil cargoes

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 12 October, 2020

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Poland: ORLEN to strengthen position in bunker fuels sector with new oil terminal

With the terminal’s commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports with conventional marine fuels and biofuels.

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ORLEN oil terminals

Polish multinational oil refiner ORLEN Group on Wednesday (12 June) said it is solidifying its presence in the marine fuels market with the construction of a new oil terminal that is scheduled for completion by the second half of 2025.

Construction of the Martwa Wisła terminal, located on the Martwa Wisła river, has already exceeded 70%.

The Martwa Wisła terminal will enhance the logistics capabilities of the Gdańsk refinery, allowing for the transshipment of approximately 2 million tonnes of fuel products annually.

The first four loading arms have already arrived at the construction site and the remaining four loading arms are slated for delivery by the end of June. The devices, with a throughput capacity of up to 500m³/h, will be used at transshipment points to load tankers.

With the terminal's commissioning, the company plans to introduce a bunkering vessel to service the Tri-City ports (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) with conventional fuels and biofuels.

For over 20 years, the Group has been supplying quality marine fuels to all Polish seaports. Its refinery product portfolio encompasses a wide range of fuels that guarantee quality and strict compliance with regulations, including MGO (DMA 0.1%S), ULSFO (RMD80 0.1% S) and LNG, which will in the near future be complemented with ‘green’ alternatives.

All marine fuels offered by ORLEN comply with the international ISO 8217:2017 standard and meet the requirements of the MARPOL Convention.

 

Photo credit: ORLEN Group
Published: 14 June 2024

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Australia: Crew of bunker tanker “Champion 63” to strike following employer’s refusal to negotiate

‘BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low,’ states MUA spokesman.

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Champion 63

The crew of Champion 63, a 2022-built Australia-registered bunker tanker with home port of Brisbane, is set to go on strike after bargaining for a new enterprise agreement has stalled, stated the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) on Wednesday (12 June).

Members of the Australian Maritime Officers Union, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, and MUA voted up protected industrial action on 11 June 2024.

The crews have been trying to formalise their employment conditions with ASP Ship Management since the bunkering operations commenced in February 2023. It took ASP approximately six months to issue the Notice of Employee Representational Rights (NERR) and start bargaining.

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“The crew of the new bunker barge on the Brisbane River and the maritime unions bent over backwards to make this vessel work,” said MUA Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Gallagher.

“Including low wages, excessive hours and a roster that does not allow crew to take leave. 18 months down the track when it comes time for BP to reward their crew and pay industry standards what do they do? They deny them fair wages, a workable roster and threaten their back pay!”

The AMOU filed a bargaining dispute after ASP refused to take their claim for a roster that does not demand that crews work every weekend seriously.

“Having to work every weekend because ASP does not have suitable relief arrangements is unacceptable,” said AMOU Industrial Officer Tracey Ellis.

“Crews have a right to be rostered time off to spend with their family. Waiting for ASP to fix the issue did not work, filing a Bargaining Dispute in the Fair Work Commission did not work, so the crews will take protected industrial action until their concerns are taken seriously.”

The crews onboard the Champion 63 voted up an unlimited number of stoppages of work of between one hour and 48 hours.

Gallagher added that, “the Maritime unions will not tolerate the big multinational fuel barons of this world undermining the Australian maritime wages and conditions of seven local mariners who are trying their best to support our own local shipping and Cruise Ship industry. If your cruise holiday gets delayed it is because, after recording over $40 billion profit in last two years, BP has decided they can’t pay industry standards in Brisbane and want to keep their workers’ wages low.”

 

Photo credit: Maritime Union of Australia
Published: 13 June 2024

 

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Infineum releases Sustainability Report 2023 outlining its sustainability progress

Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and looks forward to the next 25 years of progress towards its net zero ambition by 2050, says CEO.

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Press release Infineum remains focused on our purpose to become a sustainable world class specialty chemicals company

Infineum, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in the UK, on Thursday (13 June) released its fourth annual Sustainability Report, reinforcing its purpose to create a sustainable future through innovative chemistry.

Aligned with the company’s strategic plan to achieve its vision and purpose, Infineum announces:

Publication of its Sustainability Report 2023 (Sustainability.Infineum.com), which outlines the efforts and progress that the company has achieved through the year, including:

  • Championing of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organisation
  • Achievement of 28% of colleagues volunteering, surpassing its 2025 target of 25%
  • Increased share of relevant supplier spends covered by sustainability assessments to 62%

Launch of revamped corporate website (www.Infineum.com) to better represent Infineum as a specialty chemicals company, showcasing Infineum’s existing capabilities, as well as diversification in the new markets

The joint venture, formed in 1999 between Shell and Exxon Mobil, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently shared its restructure strategy to two business units, Sustainable Transportation and Energy Applications.

“As Infineum celebrates 25 years of operations and we look forward to the next 25 years of progress towards our net zero ambition by 2050, I am pleased to share our fourth annual sustainability report,” says Infineum CEO Aldo Govi.

“This is a journey and we have made excellent progress, but improvement will not always be linear, especially when set against the backdrop of a challenging external environment, but our purpose of creating a sustainable future through innovative chemistry, continues to drive us forward.

“We remain focused on our vision to become a sustainable world-class specialty chemicals company. Sustainability was at the core of reshaping Infineum to better enable us to contribute to sustainable mobility and the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

 

Photo credit: Infineum
Published: 13 June 2024

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