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Shell MGO bunker heist: Ex-Process Technician received minimum SGD 735,000 in benefits, faces 43 charges

31 Mar 2022

A former Shell Eastern Petroleum employee pleaded guilty to a Judge at the State Courts of the Republic of Singapore on Tuesday (29 March) over charges relating to the misappropriation of marine gas oil (MGO).

Muhamad Farhan Bin Mohamed Rashid faced a total of 43 charges over alleged criminal breach of trust (27 charges), money laundering (13 charges), and drug offences (3 charges), according to court documents seen by Singapore bunkering publication Manifold Times.

Farhan was hired around 2010 to facilitate the transfer of petroleum products at the Shell Pulau Bukom manufacturing site where his role was to either be a process technician or control panel operator.

During 2014, he was recruited into the criminal syndicate by co-conspirators Juandi bin Pungot and Muzaffar Ali Khan bin Muhamad Akram to participate in the illegal loading operation of MGO to receiving vessels.

Farhan’s primary role during the incidents of misappropriation was to open and close the bypass valve to facilitate the transfer of misappropriated MGO to bypass the custody transfer meters which would otherwise capture the movement of oil.

He was also responsible for starting the manual operation of pumps from the oil panel inside the Movement Control Room.

Further, he was occasionally tasked to switch off the radars which tracked the volume of oil within the tanks to prevent the data from being reflected in the control panel system.

In total, Farhan assisted the criminal syndicate to misappropriate a total USD 44 million (exact: USD 44,018,727.06), or approximately SGD 60 million (exact: SGD 59,668,526.27), worth of MGO between 2014 and 2016.

He received criminal benefits of at least SGD 735,000 (exact: SGD 735,331.43) through his participation in the offence; investigations recorded Farhan laundering SGD 269,511.43 of his benefits where:

  • A sum of SGD 44,750 was spent on investing in a unit at Funtasy Island Resort, Capraia Residences, located at Batam, Indonesia between 8 September to 24 October 2014.
  • A sum of SGD 119,511.43 was used to purchase a Honda Vezel between 5 to 19 August 2016.
  • Sums of SGD 20,000 and SGD 40,000 were respectively spent on start-up capital for a Halal-Japanese restaurant called Hararu Izakaya Restaurant on February and March 2017.
  • A sum of SGD 45,250 was used to pay the 5% booking fee in exchange for an option to purchase a property at Grandeur Park Residences in Singapore on 15 March 2017. However, the purchase of the property did not take place due to drug offences.

Farhan is scheduled to appear at the State Courts of the Republic of Singapore for mitigation and sentencing on 26 May.

Note: Court proceedings against other allegedly involved parties, including former employees of Shell Pulau Bukom, are ongoing. A list of earlier developments recorded by Manifold Times are as follows:

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Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 31 March, 2022

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